Candidate FAQs

Q1: How do I get started?

A1: The Secretary of State’s office has assembled candidate packets that include information on qualifications, Campaign and Political Finance (CPF) guidelines and forms, sample candidate petitions, and other filing forms required by state law. These packets are available free of charge. Contact our office to receive your candidate packet. Learn how to run for office (PDF)


Q2: Where do I file?

A2: Candidates for municipal offices should contact the municipal clerk in the city/town where they live. Candidates for county offices should contact their county clerk and recorder. Candidates for any office greater than a county office should contact the Elections Division of the Colorado Secretary of State for filing information. Candidates for federal offices should also contact the Federal Election Commission for information on federal filing requirements.


Q3: When do I file?

A3: There is no set filing deadline in the State of Colorado that applies to all candidates. Filing deadlines depend on:

1. When your campaign efforts officially begin under Campaign and Political Finance (CPF)/Fair Campaign Practices Act (FCPA) definitions.

2. The method by which you seek to get your name on the ballot (nomination, petition, write-in).

Please refer to the election calendar for important dates relating to your candidacy.


Q4: How do I learn more about the requirements of Campaign and Political Finance and the Fair Campaign Practices Act?

A4: The Election Division of the Secretary of State’s office has developed a training manual that details the requirements under CPF/FCPA and includes filing deadlines as well as all of the forms you will need to file for your campaign. This manual is available free of charge. We also offer several training courses throughout the year on the requirements of CPF/FCPA. These training courses are conducted all over the state. Please contact the Elections Division of the Secretary of State to find out when the next training course is being conducted near you.


Q5: How do I verify my status and affiliation as a registered voter?

A5: Your county clerk and recorder can access your voter record to notify you of your registration status, affiliation, affiliation date, etc. This information can also be accessed by the Secretary of State’s office.


Q6: How do I find out what Congressional/State Senate/State House District I live in?

A6: Contact your county clerk and recorder. This information is available with your voter registration information.


Q7: Once I’ve declared my candidacy, can I change my mind?

A7: Yes. Candidates may file a letter of withdrawal with the designated election official (Secretary of State, county/city/town clerk) any time before the election. However, in order to ensure a candidate’s name is removed from the ballot and sufficient time is given for vacancy nominations, letters of withdrawal must be submitted prior to 61 days before the Primary or General Election.