DENVER — The 2022 State Primary will be held June 28 with U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, governor and other state and county races on the ballot.
Ballots for the primary election are going out in the mail this week. Here's what you need to know to register to vote, turn in your ballot, track your ballot and follow election results.
How to register to vote
You can check if you're already registered to vote in Colorado at the Secretary of State's website.
If you have applied for or renewed a driver's license, you were likely automatically registered to vote, under the state's Automatic Voter Registration system. For this system to kick in, eligible voters only need to provide identification that shows citizenship.
As of June 1, 2022, there were 3,792,803 active registered voters in Colorado, according to the Secretary of State's Office.
If you registered to vote in the last election but you didn't cast a ballot, you are still registered and eligible to vote.
You can register at www.GoVoteColorado.gov if you have a valid Colorado driver's license or state-issued ID card from the Colorado Department of Revenue.
Or register at a state Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office when you apply for a driver's license or when updating driver's license information.
Other places to register are:
- Offices that provide public assistance including state-funded programs that provide services to persons with disabilities.
- U.S. Armed Forces recruitment offices.
- Any federal, state or local office or nongovernmental office that chooses to provide voter registration services
- A voter service and polling center.
Voters in Colorado can register through Election Day. To receive a mail ballot, you must register or update your voter registration by June 20. After that date, you can register and vote at a voting center.
How to vote in a primary
In a primary election, each major political party has its own ballot to choose one candidate per office who will move on to the general election in November.
Voters who are affiliated with a major party may cast a ballot for candidates of the party they're affiliated with.
Unaffiliated voters have choices on how to proceed:
- Choose which party's ballot you want to get in the mail for the next primary election by selecting a party preference at govotecolorado.gov. Ballot preference is good for only one election.
- If you'd rather get a packet of ballots for all participating parties, take no action or select this option when you register to vote.
- You can also go to an in-person polling center in your county and choose the party's ballot you want to vote on.
If an unaffiliated voter receives ballots for multiple political parties, they can fill out and return only one. If a voter returns ballots for more than one party, the ballots will be rejected.
Voting in a party's primary does not mean an unaffiliated voter is joining that party, but the party's ballot they choose will be public record (but not how they voted).
What's on the ballot
This isn't a presidential election year, but Colorado has plenty of big national and state races on the primary ballot:
- One U.S. Senate seat, currently held by Sen. Michael Bennet
- All of Colorado's eight seats in the U.S. House of Representatives
- State offices including governor, secretary of state, state treasurer and attorney general
- State Senate and House races
- County offices
Where to drop off your ballot
After you've filled out your ballot, you need to either mail it back using the envelope included with your ballot or drop it off at a designated drop-off location or drop box.
In most places, 24-hour ballot drop-off boxes open Monday, June 6.
Ballots must be received by your county clerk by no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day.
Every valid mail ballot is counted. Don't forget to sign the envelope before you either mail the ballot or drop it off.
The last day to return your ballot by mail is June 20. After that date, you should use a drop box or other designated drop-off location.
You can also vote in person at designated polling sites. Early, in-person voting opens statewide starting June 20, and in-person voting on Election Day goes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
If you choose to vote in person, you can return your mail ballot at a voter service and polling center. Even if you don't return your mail ballot, you can still vote in person. Once you've voted in person, the county clerk won't accept the ballot that was mailed to you.
When voting in person, you must provide identification such as a Colorado driver's license or state ID.
All voters who are in line at their polling station by 7 p.m. on Election Day are allowed to vote no matter how long it takes for each person to cast their ballot.
How to track your ballot
To check the status of your ballot, visit www.GoVoteColorado.gov and scroll down to "Track or cure your ballot." This year, voters can sign up to track their ballot using BallotTrax.
If you mailed in your ballot and see it hasn't been processed and choose to vote in person, the Colorado Secretary of State's Office said the ballot that is received and processed first will be counted, and the other will be voided.
This doesn't mean you can vote twice. If someone submits a ballot but decides to change their vote, that ballot will be rejected and the district attorney for that county will be alerted, the Colorado Secretary of State's Office said.
Tracking election results
The state and counties will start announcing election results after polls close at 7 p.m. on June 28.
Results will be available on the Colorado Secretary of State's Office website and each county's election website.
The results of many races will be decided on election night, but it could take several days to get the results of closely contested races.
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