Election

How to vote in Denver’s 2019 election: There’s still time, and it’s easy

You said you were going to pay more attention this year. And we need to pick a mayor.

Denver Elections judges run a ballot machine at the division's downtown headquarters, Oct. 31, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Denver Elections judges run a ballot machine at the division's downtown headquarters, Oct. 31, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photo

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On May 7, Denverites have some important decisions to make.

We need to vote on who will become (or stay) our mayor, auditor, clerk and recorder and City Council representatives. We also need to make some choices about the urban camping ban and magic mushrooms. You’ll probably want to weigh in, and the good news is it’s easy to do.

Colorado’s election laws allow you to complete your ballot ahead of time, giving you more time to read it — then maybe read it again and consult your Denverite ballot guide — then make your decisions. To see what your ballot will look like, check out this interactive sample ballot. You’ll see different candidates for City Council depending on where you live. And unlike last year’s whopper of a ballot, this ballot will just be a single, double-sided card.

On April 15, ballots begin their journey to your mailbox.

You will only receive your ballot by mail if you’re an active voter, which means Denver Elections has your address on file so they know where to send it. To check if you’re an active voter, visit GoVoteColorado.com, click on “Find My Registration” and fill out the information.

Denver Elections spokesperson Alton Dillard said you can expect to see your ballot in your mailbox the same week they drop, but it can take up to a week.

You can track your ballot before and after its sent by signing up for Ballot TRACE on the Denver Elections website.

Not registered to vote? Here’s what you need.

You can register online on the Secretary of State’s website, in person at voting centers, or by mail by filling out a Colorado Voter Registration Form and sending it to the Denver Elections Division.

There are several valid forms of ID you can use to register to vote in Colorado — your state driver’s license or state-issued ID card being among the most common. You can also use a U.S. passport, a pilot’s license or even a valid Medicare or Medicaid card. There are quite a view documents you can use, and you can find a complete list on the Secretary of State’s website.

Colorado has same-day voter registration, which means the deadline to register to vote in this election is May 7. Dillard said you should probably register in-person at one of the voting centers if you decided to wait until Election Day, though you could still register online on May 7.

One last thing: It kind of goes without saying, but you need to be a Denver resident to vote in the municipal election. You’ll need to meet a state residency requirement that asks you to prove you’ve lived in Colorado for at least 22 days prior to the election.

You can mail your ballot back, drop it off or fill one out in person.

The elections office recommends you vote ahead of time to avoid waiting in line on Election Day.

Dillard says you should mail your ballot no later than Wednesday, May 1. After that date, he recommends dropping it off at a drop box or at a voting center to be on the safe side. All ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on May 7.

The city’s 24-hour drop-off boxes, where you can safely drop off your ballot after you complete it, will become operational on April 15.

There are 28 drop-box locations throughout the city and county. The Denver Elections Divison website can help you find the one closest to you.

Inside the Denver Elections Division's mobile voting center Haul-N-Votes on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018, at Civic Center Park in Denver. (Esteban L. Hernandez/Denverite)

Inside the Denver Elections Division's mobile voting center Haul-N-Votes on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018, at Civic Center Park in Denver. (Esteban L. Hernandez/Denverite)

If you like to keep it old school and vote in person, you can do so at seven voting service and polling centers. Most of them will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. beginning April 29. Dillard said the voting center at the Denver Elections offices at 200 W 14th Ave. will be open starting April 22. You can also drop off your already completed ballot at these locations.

Additionally, the city’s mobile voting unit, Haul-N-Votes, will be traveling to four locations in the city starting April 29. It will be stationed at the Swansea Recreation Center on Election Day.

Here’s what happens if there’s a runoff.

A runoff is triggered if no candidate gets 50 percent or more of the vote. The two candidates with the most votes will be put up to a second vote.

If that happens in May, the run-off election would take place on June 4.

There is never a runoff for the City Council’s two at-large seats. Everyone in the city votes for two people to fill the two seats and the two candidates with the most votes win.

A giant blue banner was hung on the City and County Building on Feb. 15, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

A giant blue banner was hung on the City and County Building on Feb. 15, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Your runoff ballot will also be mailed to you if you’re an active voter. Dillard said those ballots would be mailed out starting May 20.

Dillard confirmed that if you don’t participate in the May 7 election, you can still participate in the runoff as long as you meet all the requirements as an eligible voter. That means you can still register after the May 7 election to participate for a runoff on June 4.

Still have questions?

You can contact the Denver Elections Division by calling 311 or emailing them at elections@denvergov.org.

Want some more? Explore other Election stories.

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