Preparing for Election Day

November 1, 2018

The midterm election is just around the corner, and Coloradans will decide on candidates and issues that could change our state—and our lives—forever. Intimidated? Don’t be. There are actually tons of resources available to make learning the issues and casting your vote the simplest thing you do this week (that is, if you haven’t already mailed your ballot back). We broke it all down into four easy steps that even the busiest among us can manage.

1.) Get Your Ballot

You should have already received your ballot in the mail, but if for some reason you didn’t, or if you need a replacement (maybe you lost or damaged your ballot or made a mistake), don’t worry: you can still vote. Contact your County Clerk and Recorder’s office to get a replacement. This handy map will direct you to your county’s office.

2.) Learn About The Issues

There are two ways to get information about the questions posed on your ballot. The first is through media sources. Reputable outlets strive for balanced coverage, and while some do a pretty good job, it’s on you to sniff out bias, if there is any. The Colorado Public Radio voter guide includes policy positions of state-level and Congressional candidates, plus information on statewide ballot measures. Other outlets create “voter guides” by aggregating the election coverage they’ve already produced onto one page. Guides by The Denver Post and The Colorado Sun are a few places to start.

Another resource is the government-created booklets that explain issues that could raise taxes. These are detailed and balanced, but they can also be fairly long and don’t cover individual candidates. For statewide matters, look to the Blue Book. For more local issues, each county will have already mailed voters materials.

3.) Cast Your Vote

If you haven’t already mailed your ballot back, you’ll now want to drop it off at one of your county’s designated drop places. It must be received before the polls close at 7pm on Tuesday, November 6. Find your drop locations here. Need time off work to make it there? Don’t be afraid to ask. Legally, your boss is required to accommodate you.

4.) Track Results

After polls close, the Colorado Secretary of State will begin reporting results, including county and local government outcomes (but bear in mind, results won’t be official, technically speaking, for 30 days). You’ll see a link on the homepage around 7:15pm on Election Day.

Now brandish that “I Voted” sticker with pride; you’ve earned it.