Uniformed and Overseas Electors FAQs and Additional Resources

FAQs
Additional resources

 

FAQs

Q1. What are the qualifications to register to vote as a Colorado citizen?

A1. Every person who will be 18 years of age or older at the time of the next election, a U.S. citizen, and a legal resident of Colorado is entitled to register and vote in Colorado. For the purposes of military and overseas electors, “resident of Colorado” means that:

  • For a military elector or dependent, he or she considers Colorado to be his or her home but is absent because of the service member’s active duty or service.
  • For an overseas elector, his or her last legal residence before leaving the U.S. was in Colorado.

 

Q2. Who is covered under UOCAVA?

A2. Colorado citizens who are living outside the U.S. and all active military personnel absent from Colorado, including their spouses and voting-age dependents, are eligible to register and vote by mail under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens and Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) and Colorado law.

 

Q3. Who is a Military Elector (Uniformed-service voter)?

A3. A military elector is defined as: [1]

  • A member of any active or reserve branch of the military who is on active duty and a resident of Colorado, but absent from the state;
  • A member of the merchant marine, the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who is a resident of Colorado but absent because of service;
  • A member of the Colorado National Guard who is a resident of this state, but who is absent from the state on active duty; or
  • A spouse, civil union partner, or dependent of a person described above, who is a resident of Colorado but who is absent from the state because of the service member’s active duty or service.

 

Q4. Who is an Overseas Elector?

A4. An overseas elector is defined as a resident of Colorado who is living outside the U.S., either temporarily or permanently, and who was a resident of Colorado immediately before leaving the U.S. [2] 

 

Q5. What if I am a U.S. citizen, but I have never lived in the U.S.?

A5. If you are a U.S. citizen who has never lived in the U.S., you can register and vote in Colorado if your parent or legal guardian was a resident of Colorado before leaving the U.S. To register to vote, you should apply using your parent or guardian’s last Colorado residence address. [3]

 

Q6. How do I register to vote and request a ballot?

A6. If you have a Colorado driver’s license or identification card, log onto www.GoVoteColorado.com. Use this online voter registration portal to register to vote, request a ballot, or update your registration information. The online form allows you to indicate how you would like to receive your ballot.

If you prefer, you can submit a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to your county clerk. The FPCA is a universal form used for both voter registration and absentee ballot request. The FPCA is available on the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) website.

All military and overseas citizens should review their registration information online and update it as necessary, or submit a FPCA each year to update their information with the county clerk.   

We strongly encourage all military and overseas voters to provide alternate contact information, including an email address. This information allows your county elections office to contact you about your ballot and provide you with important election information. This information will not be made available to the public and will only be used for the purpose of communicating with you about the voting process.  [4]

 

Q7. Which U.S. address do I use when I register to vote from overseas?

A7. You must provide two addresses: your residential address in Colorado and your current mailing address.

For overseas citizens, your residential address is the last residence you maintained in Colorado before your departure. While you may no longer maintain formal ties to that residence, the address determines your proper voting jurisdiction. A post office box is not a residential address.

Your current mailing address is necessary to send you voting information, including your ballot. If your mailing address changes, you should timely update it with the county elections office so that you continue to receive elections and voting information. [5]

 

Q8. What is the deadline to submit a voter registration application and to request a ballot?

A8. An eligible elector can register to vote up to and on election day. But if you wish to receive the ballot by mail, the application must be received by the designated election official by the close of business on the seventh day before an election.  Please keep in mind that if you would like to receive the ballot by mail, seven days may not be sufficient to receive, vote, and return your ballot. 

Military and overseas voters can also request to have their ballots be sent by fax or email. If you would like to receive the ballot by fax or email, the request must be received no later than the close of business on the Friday before the election.

Military and overseas voters also have the option of downloading a ballot online. This program will allow you to download your ballot, mark and review it, and print it for return to the county elections office. To access your ballot online, you must have notified your county elections office that you are a military or overseas voter. To download your ballot, go to www.govotecolorado.everyonecounts.com and log in using your date of birth and either your Colorado driver’s license number or last four digits of your social security number. Then follow the instructions to complete and print your ballot for return.

To vote in a Primary Election, you must be affiliated with a participating party. If you wish to change your affiliation from one party to another, you must do so no later than the 29th day prior to the Primary Election. If you are unaffiliated and wish to declare an affiliation, you can do so up to and on election day. [6]

 

Q9. Do I need to submit a separate ballot application for each election?

A9. Under Colorado law, all active voters will be mailed a ballot for each primary, coordinated, and general election. While submission of a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) is not required, you should submit an updated FPCA each year to ensure your ballot will be mailed to the correct address.

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Q10. How will I know if my application is received?

A10. Once the county elections office has processed your application, the county will mail you a postcard. If your application is incomplete for any reason, the county will send you a letter advising you what additional information is required. You can also check the status of your application and ballot online at www.GoVoteColorado.com.

 

Q11. How can I verify that my voter registration information is complete?

A11. To review your voter registration information, log on to the Manage My Registration page at www.GoVoteColorado.com and click on Verify/Update My Record. You will need to enter your first and last name, date of birth, and the zip code of your residential address in Colorado to access your information. You will be able to review your mailing address, precinct and district information, party affiliation, and contact information for your county clerk and recorder, as well as track the status of your ballot during an election.

 

Q12. When should I receive my ballot by mail?

A12. Counties will mail ballots to military and overseas voters 45 days before the election. You should receive your ballot within two weeks after it has been mailed by the county. You can also check whether your ballot has been mailed through the registration verification tool at www.GoVoteColorado.com. [7]

 

Q13. What if I don’t receive my ballot?

A13. If you have not received your ballot two weeks before the election, contact your county elections office. Your county clerk will be able to assist you in determining the status of your ballot, or issue a replacement ballot if necessary. You can find additional contact information on the Military and Overseas Electors page.

 

Q14. Who is eligible to receive and return a ballot by fax or email?

A14. All military and overseas voters can request to receive and return their ballot by fax or email. If you would like to receive your ballot by fax, be sure to provide your county elections office with a complete fax number, including the international prefix and country code. If requesting a ballot by email, provide a complete email address where the ballot is to be sent.

If you request to receive your ballot by email, you will receive the blank ballot as a PDF attachment. In order to return your voted ballot by email, you must print and vote the ballot, then scan it and attach it as a PDF.

It is important to note that if you choose to return your voted ballot by fax or email, you must voluntarily waive your right to a secret ballot.

 

Q15. What is a Federal Write-in Ballot?

A15. Any military or overseas voter is entitled to vote by a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB). You can use the FWAB to cast votes for all federal, state, and local races and issues that you are eligible to vote on. You can designate the candidate by writing in the name of the candidate or by writing in the name of a political party or political organization, in which case the ballot will be counted for the candidate of that political party or political organization.

If the county processed a ballot application and later receives a FWAB, the FWAB will count. However, if you return both a ballot and a FWAB, the county will void the FWAB and count the ballot.

You can get a FWAB from federal and civilian Voting Assistance Officers, or on the Federal Voting Assistance Program website. [8]

 

Q16. What is the deadline for returning my voted ballot?

A16. All military or overseas voters must vote and return their ballots by 7:00 PM Mountain Time on election day. The county elections office must receive the ballots no later than the close of business on the 8th day after election day. [9]

 

Q17. What if I am no longer a UOCAVA elector or I have been reassigned to a new location?

A17. If the address listed on your application changes due to reassignment or if you return to the U.S., you will need to update your voter registration by contacting your county elections office. The best way to update your voter registration is to log on to www.GoVoteColorado.com to update your registration information. If you prefer, you can also submit an updated Federal Post Card Application (FPCA).

 

Q18. What if my registration record is inactive?

A18. Military and overseas electors who find out that their registration is inactive should update their information to ensure a ballot will be mailed for the next regularly scheduled election. You can update your information by submitting an updated Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) or by logging in to www.GoVoteColorado.com. If it is close to election day, you can also download your ballot using the Address Locator function of the online ballot delivery system. You will also need to download the FPCA through the system to update your information. You must submit the ballot and the application before the deadlines listed above. [10]

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Additional resources

Election Calendar

You can access the Election Calendar on our website. Click on the link for the current year to see all important dates and deadlines for the next election.

 

Contact Information 

Federal Contact Information

State Contact Information

Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP)
Department of Defense
4800 Mark Center Drive, Mailbox 10
Alexandria, VA 22350-5000
Toll Free: 800-438-VOTE (8683)
DSN: 425-1584
www.fvap.gov

vote@fvap.ncr.gov

 

Colorado Secretary of State
Elections Division
1700 Broadway, Suite 200
Denver, CO 80290
303-894-2200, ext. 6343
303-869-4861 (fax)
www.elections.colorado.gov
State.ElectionDivision@sos.state.co.us

 

Additional forms and resources 

Additional information is available on the Military and Overseas Electors page at www.GoVoteColorado.com/mil. This page includes information and forms for military and overseas electors, as well as links to other government organizations.

 

Information about Candidates 

Your best source of information about candidates is the local paper or news source, which may be available on the internet. The Armed Forces Radio and Television Service broadcasts American news and entertainment programs throughout the world. You may also wish to contact the political parties listed in this guide for information about specific candidates and their platform. The major political parties maintain overseas offices and may have information about the candidates and issues. More information about Democrats Abroad and Republicans Abroad can be found on the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) website.

 

Toll Free Access to Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP)

Toll-free international telephone numbers and fax numbers to the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) offices

 

Federal Post Card Application (SF- 76A) 

Simultaneous voter registration/absentee ballot request form used by U. S. citizens covered by the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA).  This form can also be used for change of address requests.

 

Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (SF- 186A) 

The Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot allows voters who have requested their ballot by their state deadline but not received it to vote.  Colorado allows you to use this form for voting in general, special, and primary elections.

 

 

[1] 1-8.3-102, C.R.S.
[2] 1-8.3-102, C.R.S.
[3] 1-8.3-102(2)(d), C.R.S.
[4] 1-8.3-107, 1-8.3-108, and 1-8.3-115(1), C.R.S.
[5] 1-8.3-106, C.R.S.
[6] 1-8.3-109, C.R.S.
[7] 1-8.3-110, C.R.S.
[8] 1-8.3-107, C.R.S., Colorado Election Rule 16
[9] 1-8.3-111  and 1-8.3-113(2), C.R.S.
[10] Colorado Election Rule 16

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