Electors with disabilities
Help America Vote Act (HAVA)
Electors with Disabilities
Q1. I have a mental disability. Are there any restrictions on my right to vote in Colorado?
A1. No. There are no restrictions on the right to vote under Colorado law related to disabilities.
Q2. I use a wheelchair. In the past, I have found my polling place to be inaccessible for me. What can I do?
A2. State and federal laws require that every polling place be accessible. If you find that your polling place is not accessible, make your local election official aware of the issues. You may also file a complaint with the Colorado Secretary of State. Information about the HAVA Complaint Process is available on the Colorado Secretary of State’s website.
The county clerk for the county where you are registered is required to send you a voter information card at least 25 days before the General Election telling you the location of your polling place. If you did not receive your voter information card, or cannot find it, you may look up the polling place location information online at www.GoVoteColorado.com or call your county clerk's office. Additionally, many counties provide polling place information on their websites.
Q3. Do I have to provide documentation of my disability if I want to vote by mail?
A3. Colorado is a “no excuse” mail-in ballot state. You may vote by mail if you are unable to go to the polls or choose not to go to the polls on Election Day. You do not have to provide any reasons for choosing to vote by mail. Applications for mail-in ballots may be filed with your clerk and recorder any time.
Q4. How do I request a mail-in ballot?
A4. If you have a Colorado State driver's license or ID card issued by the Department of Revenue you may update your address, party affiliation or permanent mail-in ballot status online at www.GoVoteColorado.com. Paper mail-in ballot application forms are also available from the Colorado Secretary of State's website or your county clerk's office.
Q5. What is the deadline to request a mail-in ballot?
A5. If you wish to receive your mail-in ballot by mail, you must apply no later than the close of business on the seventh day before the election. You may also apply in person to your county clerk's office no later than the Friday prior to the election.
To be counted, mail-in ballots must be received by the county clerk's office not later than 7 p.m. on Election Day. If you did not mail your mail-in ballot in enough time to meet the deadline, you must deliver it to your county clerk and recorder's office by 7 p.m. on Election Day.
If you apply for an mail-in ballot, but spoil it or cannot cast it for other reasons, you may vote by provisional ballot at the polling place or vote center if you affirm under oath that you have not and will not cast the mail-in ballot. Polling places and vote centers must be fully accessible.
Q6. I use a walker and have great difficulty walking more than 200 feet without sitting down to rest. My polling place is in a building that has designated accessible parking and an accessible entrance. However, the actual polling place within the building is located a significant distance from the entrance closest to the parking lot. What can I do?
A6. You might consider informing your county clerk about this problem. They may be able to relocate the polling place within the building. If this isn't feasible, they may be able to place a chair or bench along the route so that you can rest.
Q7. I have a reading disability and have trouble reading and understanding what is printed on my ballot. I would like to be able to vote privately and without help, just like everyone else. What are my rights?
A7. The federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) and Colorado laws require that voters with disabilities be able to cast their vote privately and without assistance. Each county has purchased accessible voting machines to be used in every polling place election. These new voting machines use assistive and adaptive technology to provide the opportunity for voters with a wide range of disabilities to vote privately and independently.
Q8. Will new voting equipment allow me to change my vote choice(s) before I cast my vote?
A8. Yes. The federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) requires any new voting equipment to allow voters the opportunity to change their choices privately and independently before the ballot is cast and counted.
Q9. How would recounts be conducted with the new voting machines?
A9. The recount process will depend on the specifics of the voting machines used at the county level. The requirement will be met to verify the result in a close race, no matter what equipment is used.
Q10. What can I do if I believe that my voting rights have been violated?
A10. You have the option of filing an election complaint directly with the Secretary of State’s office at 1700 Broadway Suite 200, Denver CO 80290. If you need assistance with completing and filing your complaint, you may contact The Legal Center for People with Disabilities and Older People VOTE! Program. The Legal Center is authorized and funded under HAVA and is available to assist you anytime you have questions regarding your voting rights. They are also available on Election Day to help you if you believe that your rights are being or have been violated. You can call their Denver Office at 1-800-288-1376 or 303-722-3619 (TTY) or their Grand Junction Office at 1-800-531-2105 (V/TTY). The Legal Center is prohibited from using their HAVA funding for litigation; however, they can assist you with filing a complaint with the Secretary of State or the US Department of Justice. The election complaint template can be found on the Secretary of State’s website in the Election Center under the Help America Vote Act link.