Colorado voting issues

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a non-partisan, non-profit collaboration of citizens, activists and researchers to collect reports of voter suppression and the systemic threats to election integrity.

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Election and registration information

  • Polling place hours: 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Registration deadline 29 days before the election, which is October 6, 2008.

Identification required for registration

  • First-Time Voter Registering by Mail[1]
    • You must submit a copy of one of the following with your registration application:
      • A valid Colorado driver's license;
      • A valid identification card issued by the Department of Revenue in accordance with the requirements of part 3 of article 2 of title 42, C.R.S.;
      • A valid United States passport
      • A valid employee identification card with a photograph issued by any branch, department, agency, or entity of the United States government or of this state, or by any county, municipality, board, authority, or other political subdivision of this state;
      • A valid pilot's license issued by the federal aviation administration or other authorized agency of the United States;
      • A valid United States military identification card with a photograph;
      • A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and address;
      • A valid medicare or medicaid card issued by the United States health care financing administration;
      • A certified copy of a birth certificate issued in the United States;
      • Certified documentation of naturalization; or
      • A valid student identification card with a photograph issued by an institution of higher education in Colorado, as defined in section 23-3.1-102 (5), C.R.S.
    • Or you may provide one of the following numbers:
      • A valid Colorado driver's license number;
      • A valid identification card issued by the Department of Revenue in accordance with the requirements of part 3 of article 2 of title 42, C.R.S.;
      • At least the last four digits of your Social Security Number.
    • Otherwise, you will be required to submit a copy of identification listed above with your mail ballot or absentee ballot.
  • If you register in person, you will need one of the following:
    • A valid Colorado driver's license number;
    • Valid Colorado Department of Revenue Identification number;
    • At least the last four digits of your Social Security number;
    • If you do not have a Colorado driver's license number, a valid identification number issued by the Department of Revenue or Social Security number, you will be issued a unique identifying number and be registered to vote.

Absentee voting

  • Any eligible voter may elect to vote by Mail-In (or Absentee) Ballot either permanently or for just the current year[1].
  • Rules and Deadlines:
    • If you wish to have your Mail-In Ballot mailed to you, the application must be received by your County Clerk's Office by close of business on the Tuesday that is seven (7) days before the election. 2008 General Election: 10/28/2008.
    • Mail-In Ballots may be received in person at the County Clerk's Office until close of business on the Friday before the election. 2008 General Election: 10/31/2008.

Early voting

  • Colorado allows for early voting during regular business hours for ten days before a primary election and a special legislative election and for fifteen days before a general election[1].
  • 2008 General Election: Early voting begins on 10/20/2008.
  • Ballots are cast in the same manner as any ballot would be cast on Election Day.

Provisional voting

From the FAQ:

When voters arrive at the polling place on Election Day, the election judges check the poll book (a list of all of the jurisdiction's registered voters), to confirm that the voter is properly registered and at the correct polling place.

A voter whose name is not found in the poll book on Election Day or does not have adequate identification is given a provisional ballot. Provisional ballots are distinguished from regular ballots so that the election authority can later investigate the provisional voter's registration status.

When county clerk and recorders verify a provisional voter’s registration status, they check four databases to ensure the voter is a resident of the county, is not registered in another county, is not a felon, and is not a deceased person.

Provisional Ballots are checked against the following databases:

  1. State of Colorado voter registration database
  2. County Clerk and Recorder voter registration database
  3. Colorado Department of Corrections Felon database
  4. Colorado Department of Vital Statistics database
Main article: Provisional voting

Student voting rights

Please visit the Brennan Center for Justice's Student Voting Project, Colorado for a comprehensive overview of student voting rights, ID requirements, residency requirements and other student voting issues.

Voting machines

2008 election

For the 2008 election Colorado used the following voting machines in addition to hand-counted paper ballots in some counties. For a county-by-county list of the specific machines (and the source for this section) see Verified Votings' Verifier tool.

Main article: Voting machines

Direct-Recording Electronic (DRE) machines with a paper trail:

Optical scan machines:

Digital scan machines:

Governmental election authorities

  • Colorado Secretary of State: Mike Coffman
  • Website:
  • Elections Division contact information:
    • Elections Division, Colorado Department of State, 1700 Broadway, Suite 270, Denver, CO 80290
    • 303-894-2200 ext. 6307
    • 303-869-4861 (FAX)

Election threats

  • On voter registration, New York Times story on illegal voter purging mentions Colorado as one of the states involved. (A later article quotes Colorado election officials advising voters to check to see if their registration info is correct.) Common Cause chastised Colorado's government for being behind in implementing two federal election laws and for having stringent requirements for students to vote. The SCORE voter registration database might cause problems on election day. In 2004 Denver officials charged two ACORN workers with falsely filling out multiple voter forms to boost their pay.
  • On voter education, Common Cause chastised Colorado's government for its lack of offline efforts.
  • On absentee and early voting, 11,000 absentee ballots lost by vendor Sequoia Voting Systems.
  • On voter suppression and intimidation, in 2004, in several counties voters were not allowed to vote provisionally or told they could only vote for President. Sec state purging thousands of voters, Oct 25 lawsuit filed seeking to reinstate voters.
  • On student voting rights, a country election official admitted to distributing information that falsely told students they couldn't vote. Common Cause also chastised the state for having an inadequate intimidation and deceptive practices law.
  • On polling places and voting, Common Cause chastised Colorado's government for having vague requirements for enough ballots/voting machines and for having inadequate poll-worker recruiting standards. In the 2004 election, ballot-printing machines malfunctioned, resulting in very delayed results. In Douglas County VotersUnite! has a report report of too few voting machines for long ballots, causing long lines. Long lines are expected in 2008 because of an extremely long ballot, that takes an average of 12 minutes to complete.
  • On ballot design, VotersUnite! has a report of barcode misprinting by Sequoia.
  • On provisional ballots,... (needs information)
  • On vote verification and security, election officials have hired a partisan company to serve as middleman in vote counting.
  • On election public official issues, In Montrose County, election officials did not perform pre-election testing of machines and did not have a security plan as required by law.
Main article: Colorado election threats

State and local non-governmental election organizations

Coloradoans for Voting Integrity

  • Description: Coloradoans For Voting Integrity (CFVI) is a collection of concerned Colorado citizens dedicated to fair, accessible, verifiable and verified voting on the state and national level.

League of Women Voters

LWV of Colorado, Mrs. Marjory Beal, President

  • 1410 Grant Street, #B-204
  • Denver, CO 80203-0000
  • Phone: 303-863-0437
  • Fax: 303-837-9917
  • E-mail:

Local Leagues:

Voter Action's Colorado Information

Colorado Voter Information:

Articles and resources

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Registration, absentee and early voting information is from Election Protection Colorado Election Information page. Retrieved October 8, 2008.

External resources

Poll location

Election Protection hotlines

Voting information

Voting rights

Voting requirements

Election officials, election reform groups, and elected officials

Absentee voting

Disabled voters

Student voting rights

State ballot

  • See how organizations you trust recommend you vote on ballot measures and other statewide contests at TransparentDemocracy.


  • Help in other languages from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. 中文, 日本語, 한국어, Tagalog, Tiếng Việt, Español

Voting machines

Election law

External articles

Comprehensive investigative reporting on vote suppression and election protection issues at The Colorado Independent.