Colorado Secretary of State logo - cube with a C in it

Colorado
Secretary of State
Jena Griswold

Colorado Secretary of State logo - Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold

Picture of Secretary of State Jena Griswold

×
Colorado Secretary of State logo - cube with a C in it

Colorado
Secretary of State
Jena Griswold

×

Voters with Convictions FAQs

Q1. If I am incarcerated for a felony conviction, does this affect my voter status?

A1. In Colorado, it is illegal to register to vote or cast a vote while serving a sentence of incarceration or detention for a felony conviction.

Q2. If I am currently on parole for a felony conviction, may I register to vote?

A2. You may pre-register to vote, but you will not be eligible to vote until you have completed your sentence.

Q3. Do I have the right to vote if I am in jail awaiting trial or serving a sentence for a misdemeanor conviction?

A3: Yes. An individual in either of these situations has the right to register to vote and vote in any election. Individuals in these situations should contact their jail administrator to coordinate voter registration if they are not already registered.

Q4. Do I have the right to vote if I am on bond and the criminal case is pending?

A4: Yes. You are eligible to vote if you are on bond as long as you are not convicted and serving a sentence of confinement, detention, or parole for a felony at the time of the election.

Q5. Do I have the right to vote if I am on probation?

A5. Yes. Individuals on probation may register to vote and cast their vote in any election. It is important to understand the difference between probation and parole. Many people confuse the two and think they are the same thing.

Probation is a sentence ordered by a judge and usually an alternative to prison. A sentence of probation allows a person to remain in the community under the supervision of a probation officer. It is legal to register to vote and cast a vote while under a sentence of probation.

Parole is a period of supervision after release from prison. In Colorado, parole is considered a part of the sentence. It is illegal cast a vote while on parole. However, individuals on parole can pre-register to vote. Additionally, a period of Federal Supervised Release is the functional equivalent of parole, and is also considered part of the sentence.

Q6. I have a criminal conviction in my past. Do I have the right to vote if I have served my sentence and successfully completed parole?

A6. Yes. In Colorado, you have the right to vote after you have served your sentence, including parole. The day you are released from parole is the day your eligibility to register to vote is restored. Unless you pre-registered to vote when you were on parole, your old registration will have been canceled and you must re-register to vote.

Q7. Will I get an official letter telling me when I am eligible to vote?

A7. No. No one will tell you when you are eligible to vote.

Q8. Must I provide proof that I served my sentence and parole to register to vote or vote?

A8. If you submit a voter registration application, but your name still appears in the database as an individual under supervision, the county elections office may ask for proof that you have completed parole (such as, your parole discharge documentation). Once you have finished your sentence, your name should be removed from the database as being under supervision, but this can take some time.

Q9. What if I was convicted for a crime in another state?

A9. Election law varies from state to state, and your right to vote is determined by the state in which you live. If you are a Colorado resident and if you have completed your sentence, including parole, you can cast a vote.

Q10. If I was convicted of a federal crime, do I have the right to vote in a federal election?

A10. It does not matter if you were convicted in a state or federal court. Once you are eligible to vote in Colorado, you are eligible to vote in both state and federal elections.

Q11. Do I have to pay off all my restitution before I can vote?

A11. No. Payment of restitution is not a condition of voting eligibility.

Q12. I was registered to vote before I was incarcerated. Do I need to register again?

A12. Yes. If you were registered to vote prior to your incarceration for a felony conviction, your registration will have been canceled, and you must re-register to vote. If you have a Colorado State driver's license or ID card issued by the Department of Revenue you may register to vote online. Paper voter registration forms are also available on the Secretary of State's website.

You are eligible to pre-register if you are on parole. If you choose to take this step, once you finish parole, you will be automatically registered to vote.

Q13. If I illegally register to vote or vote in an election, can I be charged with a crime?

A13. Yes. It is a Class Five Felony to for anyone to illegally register to vote or vote in an election. Please refer to Section 1-13-704.5 of the Colorado Revised Statutes for more information.