Your vote is your voice. Representative John Lewis from Georgia, who marched in 1965 from Selma to Montgomery to help bring about the Voting Rights Act, calls the vote “the most powerful, nonviolent tool we have in a democratic society.” Voting is how you can make a difference because elected officials don't listen to people who don't vote. They care about re-election first and foremost. That's why it’s important that you vote.

Disenfranchisement, or taking the right to vote away from someone, is part of the voting rights history in America. These laws are usually related to involvement in the criminal justice system, and they vary from state to state.

Know Your Rights

You're eligible to vote if you will be 18 years of age or older at the time of the next election, are a United States citizen, have resided in Colorado 22 days immediately before the election, and are not serving a sentence of confinement, detention, or parole for a felony conviction.

You're eligible to vote if you’re on probation or in jail for a misdemeanor or as a pretrial detainee.

The day you finish your sentence of incarceration, include the sentence of parole, you become eligible to vote. No one will contact you to let you know you’ve earned back the right to vote. It happens automatically on the last day of parole.

How to Register to Vote

Colorado law allows you to register to vote through Election day. If you register to vote by mail or online through at least 8 days before an election, the county clerk will automatically mail you a ballot. If you register to vote after the 8th day before an election, you must visit one of the Voter Service and Polling Centers in your county to get a ballot. If you register to vote through a voter registration drive, your application must be submitted to the clerk and recorder no later than 22 days before the election.

You may register to vote by going in-person to a Voter Service and Polling Center through Election Day. Call Just Vote Colorado at 866-687-8683 to learn where your closest Voter Service and Polling Center is.

Get Involved in Politics

Knowing how to contact your city and elected officials is an important skill. Every city has a local government, and you can usually find their website by googling the name of the city and the word government. City government websites can tell you how to get a lot done, from reporting potholes to contacting the people elected to run the city. You have the right to contact elected officials such as city councilors and the mayor to ask for help, make suggestions, and express your opinion. Be civil and polite and persistent.

Colorado Representatives and Senators

You can call, write, or email people who represent you at the state level. These are your state representatives, state senators, and governor. Colorado has 65 state representatives and 35 state senators who meet every spring for almost six months to work on state laws and to balance the budget.The Colorado State Legislature’s website has every legislator’s contact information, bills, and voting record.

Congressional Delegation

You can also call or email people who represent you at the national (called federal) level. Colorado has seven representatives who represent geographic areas within Colorado, and two state senators who represent everyone in the state. You can find their contact information on the website below.