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Voter Guide: Everything you need to know about the 2018 election in Colorado

How to make sure you're registered to vote, profiles on all the top candidates, analysis of statewide ballot measures and everything else you need to know for the 2018 election in Colorado.

Let this guide be your vote of confidence as you fill out your ballot.

Make sure you can vote in Colorado — and find your polling place.

If you need to register to vote, start here.

If you aren't registered, you can register through Election Day. A person can register to vote and receive a ballot up until 7 p.m. on Election Day by visiting a voter service and polling center in person. Voting service centers are now open in all 64 counties for early in-person voting. They will remain open through election day.

If you are registered, find your registration, change party affiliation or choose your primary ballot.

You can look up your polling place, ballot drop-off locations and the status of your vote-by-mail ballot here.

Voter Registration FAQs: sos.state.co.us/pubs/elections/FAQs/VoterRegistrationFAQ.html

Know your deadlines

Keep your eye on these important upcoming dates:

  • Oct. 5, 2018: County clerk must issue mail ballot to any eligible voter who requests one in person at the county clerk's office.

  • Oct. 15, 2018: First day that mail ballots may be mailed to voters, except for overseas voters, including military.

  • Oct. 29, 2018: Last day for an individual to submit a voter registration application and still receive a ballot in the mail. (If the county clerk receives a voter registration application within the eight days before the election, the clerk must process the application and inform the applicant that he or she will not receive a mail ballot. To receive a ballot, the applicant must visit a voter service and polling center.)

  • Oct. 29, 2018: The last day for voters to submit their ballots by mail, according to Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams. Postmarks don't count -- ballots must be in the hands of an election official by 7 p.m. Election Day, Nov. 6.

  • Nov. 3, 2018: First day counties with more than 25,000 active electors are required to provide stand-alone drop-off locations.

  • Nov. 6, 2018: General Election. Polls open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. All ballots must be received by the county clerk by 7 p.m. Ballots cast by military and overseas voters must be sent no later than 7 p.m. MT and received by the close of business on the eighth day after the election (Nov. 14, 2018).
  • View the full Secretary of State Elections Calendar: https://bit.ly/2ExHjBk

    Do your research now

    These are the candidates vying to be Colorado’s next governor

    The Centennial State’s next governor faces a wide range of challenges: sustaining the robust state economy and ensuring it benefits everyone, tackling a housing affordability crisis, repairing – and paying for – crumbling roads, balancing oil and gas development and health and the environment, public school funding, bridging the urban-rural divide. Here’s what each contender stands for.

    Don't see the photos above? Click here for Jared Polis' profile and here for Walker Stapleton's profile.

    Both candidates also stopped by Next with Kyle Clark in the last stretch of the election to give undecided voters their Closing Arguments in their campaigns. Watch our interview with Stapleton here and Polis here.

    Colorado’s high-stakes congressional race

    Control of the U.S. House of Representatives is at stake. It’s always a big deal, but in this election, it’s a HUGE deal. Republicans want to maintain control. Democrats are licking their chops, hopeful to tip the balance. In Colorado, one House race is drawing a lot of attention – and lots of campaign contributions. Who wins could determine the balance of power in Congress. The 6th Congressional District has been held by Republicans for the past several election cycles, but a Democrat is making a solid challenge. Here are profiles of the two major-party candidates and what they stand for.

    Don't see the photos above? Click here for Mike Coffman's profile and here for Jason Crow's profile.

    Statewide ballot measures. Their outcome affects all of us. Know what they’ll do.

    Limits on where oil and gas development can take place. More money for public education. Efforts to take politics out of political redistricting. Competing amendments for road and transportation funding. 9NEWS will analyze all 13 statewide ballot measures. You can see those here as they get posted.

    First, learn the ABCs and 123s of Colorado ballots.

    Amendment V reduces age qualification for legislative members from 25 to 21.

    Amendment W shortens language on the Colorado ballot regarding judicial retention by consolidating questions.

    Amendment X changes the definition of industrial hemp from a constitutional definition to a statutory definition.

    Amendment Y establishes an independent commission for congressional redistricting.

    Amendment Z establishes an independent commission for state legislative redistricting.

    Amendment A repeals a constitutional exception on the ban of slavery that allowed for slavery and involuntary servitude as punishment for a crime. (Click/tap here for a video breakdown.)

    Amendment 73 establishes tax brackets and raises taxes to fund education.

    Amendment 74 requires that property owners be compensated for any reduction in property value caused by state laws or regulations.

    Amendment 75 changes campaign finance contribution limits and requirements.

    Proposition 109 authorizes bonds for transportation projects without raising taxes. (Click/tap here for a video breakdown.)

    Proposition 110 authorizes bonds for transportation projects and raises taxes to repay the debt. (Click/tap here for a video breakdown.)

    Proposition 111 restricts the charges on payday loans to a yearly rate of 36 percent and eliminate all other finance charges and fees associated with payday lending.

    Proposition 112 mandates that new oil and gas development projects, including fracking, be a minimum distance of 2,500 feet from occupied buildings and other areas designated as vulnerable.

    RELATED | Why this election law attorney suggests a default 'no' vote if you're undecided

    Meet the candidates for Colorado attorney general

    There are two top contenders for the job of Colorado's top lawyer. The attorney general represents the state government in all its lawsuits. Here are the basics on the contenders.

    Don't see the photos above? Click here for George Brauchler's profile and here for Phil Weiser's profile.

    Meet the candidates for Colorado Secretary of State and Treasurer

    Jena Griswold is a Democrat running to become Colorado Secretary of State. She is a lawyer who served in the Obama administration and was Gov. Hickenlooper’s liaison in Washington D.C.

    Wayne Williams is a Republican running as an incumbent to retain office as Colorado Secretary of State. He is a lawyer who has served as clerk and recorder and county commissioner in El Paso County.

    Dave Young is a Democrat running to become State Treasurer. He currently serves in the State House of Representatives, representing Greeley, Evans and Garden City.

    Brian Watson is a Republican running to become State Treasurer. He is a commercial real estate investment executive and is the founder of an organization that promotes free-market principles to grow business.

    How to judge a judge

    The State Commission on Judicial Performance evaluates district and county judges standing for retention in the following categories: integrity, legal knowledge, communication skills, judicial temperament, administrative performance and service to the legal profession and public.

    Colorado Office of Judicial Performance Evaluations allows you to search for judges standing for retention in your district. Click this link and search by your county.

    The Colorado Office of Judicial Performance Evaluations publishes a list of all judges’ performance evaluations.

    The Blue Book

    The Blue Book is your guide to information on the 13 statewide measures on the ballot and on the judges who are on the ballot for retention in your area. Analysis is performed by the Legislative Council Staff, a non-partisan arm of the state legislature.

    2018 Blue Book (English)

    2018 Folleto Informativo (Blue Book en Espanol)

    2018 Blue Book Fiscal Impact (English) Fiscal Impact Statements for the 2018 statewide ballot measures.

    2018 Folleto Informativo - Estimaciónes del Impacto Fiscal (en Español) Declaraciónes de Impacto Fiscal por los medidas de la balota de 2018.

    For people who can’t read print, or who can’t physically hold a book in their hands, the Colorado Talking Book Library records the Blue Book voter guide each election year from cover to cover. It would take about 6.5 hours to listen to it in its entirety, but it is broken up into sections so listeners can choose shorter audio clips. You can listen to MP3 files of the Blue Book on the Colorado Talking Book Library website. If you are unable to access the online version you can contact the library at 303-727-9277 or 1-800-685-2136.

    Still have questions? Ask us.

    Philip Maravilla is 9NEWS' political producer — and he’s ready to guide you through any of your lingering questions about voting and elections.

    Before you ask, click/tap here to check our list of previously submitted viewer questions. Still don't have your answer? Ask away!

    Before You Leave, Check This Out