Colorado Absentee Ballot Guide

Last updated March 22, 2016
Military and Overseas voters should visit the Overseas Vote Foundation. Long Distance Voter's information should only be used by voters with US mailing addresses.

Important Deadlines

  • Voter Registration Form: Received 22 days before Election Day (through a voter regsitration drive); received 8 days before Election Day (online, or by mail if you wish to vote by absentee ballot); you may also register and vote in person on Election Day.
  • Absentee Ballot Application: Received by the Tuesday before the election
  • Voted Absentee Ballot: Received by the close of polls on Election Day

How to vote by absentee ballot

Register to vote

  • Register to vote using the Colorado Voter Registration Application.  It's a good idea to include a copy of your identification with this form (otherwise you'll need to include it with your voted absentee ballot).  Acceptable forms of ID are listed below in the Frequently Asked Questions section. Mail your completed application - and a copy of your ID - to your County Clerk and Recorder (the addresses are on the form).
  • You can also use our Voter Registration Tool. Enter your information, print and sign the completed form, and mail it to the address printed on the form. 
  • Finally, you can use Colorado's online registration tool. (NOTE: you will need to provide a driver's license or state ID number.  If you do not have this form of ID, use one of the above methods instead.)

Verify your voter registration

It's best to verify your voter registration before applying for your absentee ballot.  If there's a problem with your registration, register again before proceeding.

NOTE: Most people receive their voter registration cards in the mail 2-3 weeks after registering to vote. Don't worry if you lost your voter registration card. You don't actually need it to vote.

Make sure you're eligible to vote by absentee ballot

Good news!  Any Colorado voter may vote by absentee ballot. You don't even need to be registered to apply for an your absentee ballot. 

Apply for your absentee ballot

Colorado uses an all by-mail voting system. Use the online tool at or use the Colorado Voter Registration Application to update your address information. If you use the paper form, mail the completed form to your County Clerk.

Note: Colorado currently does not account for a temporary change of mailing address. So if need your ballot sent to you for just one election, you need to update your address information before that election, and then update it back again after the election is over.

Your application must be received by the close of business 7 days before the election if you would like your absentee ballot MAILED to you.  Mail-In Ballots may be obtained IN PERSON at the County Clerk’s Office until close of business on the Friday proceeding election day.

Receive, vote and return your absentee ballot

Absentee Ballots will be mailed approximately 30 days prior to Election Day, or thereafter within 3 days of the county clerk receiving a request for a Mail-In Ballot.

Fill out your ballot, sign it, and return it to your County Clerk. The address will be on the return envelope.  If you registered by mail and you made it all the way to this step without providing your identification, include a copy of your ID in the outer envelope of your ballot.  If you put your ID inside your ballot, your ballot will not be counted.

In the event your original Absentee Ballot is not received, or it becomes “spoiled,” you may request a Replacement Absentee Ballot. Contact your County Clerk and Recorder for additional information about obtaining a Replacement Absentee Ballot.

Additional Information

State Elections Website:
Local Election Officials: Your Local Election Official is the best person to contact if you have questions.  They'll be able to provide up-to-date information on rules and deadlines. 


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