Vote early, vote — once
“Vote early, vote often” was the joke election slogan when I was growing up in Chicago. If “often” means once at each election, it’s a good slogan. But I particularly like the “vote early” part. Early voting has begun, and there are many reasons to take advantage of it.
On the other hand, if you’ve received your mail in ballot, please fill it in and drop it off at a voting location or mail it in (don’t forget the 65 cents postage) and you can stop reading.
If your mail in ballot hasn’t shown up yet, you’re wondering what early voting is all about, you’ve moved since you last registered to vote, recently registered to vote or have received one of the Secretary of State’s thousands of letters telling you there is some sort of problem with your registration, read up. Here are some handy tools to help you figure it out.
Early voting started on Oct. 22 and goes through Nov. 2. Avoid the lines on Election Day and vote in person now. Where? JustVoteColorado.org, vote.barackobama.com and join.cologop.org have handy look up tools for the Early Voting and Election Day polling places around the state. And what’s even more convenient is that you can vote at any Early Voting Location in your county. Plug in your address, find the one closest to home or work and go vote early.
Did you register on a Get out the Vote Drive, move since you last registered, not receive a mail in ballot when everyone else in your house did, or otherwise wonder what’s up with your voter registration? govotecolorado.com will tell you all. This is the Secretary of State’s website and it will even tell you the date your mail in ballot was sent (and if it was returned as undeliverable because you moved). Not in there at all or still listed at the old house? Check with your County Clerk or go to a Voter Services Center (use the first set of websites to find those) to resolve your issue. Go early.
Early Voting Locations and Voting Services Centers
This is the tricky part. In many cases they are one and the same. But not all Early Voting Locations are Voter Services Centers. You will need a Voter Services Center or the County Clerk’s Office if you have a registration problem to clean up. The County Clerk will be obvious if you use one of the look up tools above. Otherwise, there’s always Google. Conveniently though, you can take care of your registration problem and vote at the same time if you go early. On Election Day you’ll most likely have to go to two places to handle a registration problem and then vote (or three if you tried to vote first, then have to go see the County Clerk and get back to your polling place), although some issues may be sorted out with a phone call at the polling place. Go early.
When you vote in person, you will need to bring ID. The list of acceptable identification has actually expanded in Colorado since 2010. You only need one. Here is the new list:
- CO Driver’s License or state-issued CO ID*
- U.S. passport*
- Student photo ID from a Colorado college or university*
- U.S. military photo ID card*
- Veteran photo ID*
- State or federal government employee photo ID*
- Medicare or Medicaid card
- Copy of current (within 60 days) paycheck, utility bill, bank statement, government check, or other government doc showing voter’s name and address**
- Pilot’s License
- Certified copy of a U.S. birth certificate
- Certified documentation of naturalization
- Federally recognized tribal membership ID
* Photos are only required on these items.
** This is the only category of ID which requires your address to match what is in the poll book (govotecolorado.com). Other ID’s that contain addresses can be anywhere in Colorado.
Have Other Questions?
Call any of the voter protection hotlines below:
- Just Vote Colorado 866-687-8683
- ACLU 877-523-2792