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Additional Voting Information for Colorado Residents with Disabilities

Support, Inc. recently shared a post with critical voting information to review. Today we’re sharing an addition post with further details regarding the election.

To start, our Pop Culture Group (hosted by Meredith) is focusing on voting, every Tuesday from now until the election. For more information please contact Meredith at Meredith.Kane@supportinc.com.

Once you’re registered to vote, it’s time to find a polling place! Keep in mind, you’re able to vote by mail and at home, if need be. Otherwise, refer to this interactive polling locator to find a suitable location to vote. You can also search ballot drop box locations on this website, as well.

We know that voting can be tricky sometimes, when these questions are phrased in a way that can bring about confusion. Luckily, we have a few resources to help us understand the details of these measures and propositions.

  1. Ballotpedia
  2. Colorado Judicial Performance Information
  3. Developmental Pathways Explains a Few Propositions

If you choose to vote by mail, you can track your ballot in real time. Follow this link to check the status of your ballot.

The Arc of Colorado offers a full write-up on voting in the upcoming elections. And if you need a ride to the polls, please contact Cathy at Cathy.Kellogg@supportinc.com so she can get you connected with transportation as quickly as possible!

Lastly, we have FAQs for Voters with Disabilities.

Voters with Disabilities FAQs

Q1. If I use a wheelchair and my polling place is inaccessible to me, what can I do?

A1. State and federal laws require that every polling place be accessible. If your polling place is not accessible, make your local election office aware of any issues. Please refer to this list of county election office contacts to touch base with your local county election official.

You may also file a complaint under the federal Help America Vote Act (“HAVA”) with the Secretary of State’s office. Information about the HAVA Complaint Process is available on the Secretary of State’s website.

Q2. How will I receive my ballot?

A2. All Colorado voters receive mail ballots. Eligible voters with a disability may request to access their ballot and vote their ballot electronically. An eligible voter must print the voted ballot, the accessible ballot application, and sign the accessible ballot application. All of these materials must be returned together and returned through the USPS or in-person at a county drop-box or county VSPC. For your mail ballot to be counted, it must be received by the county clerk’s office no later than 7:00 PM on Election Day. If you did not mail your ballot in with enough time to meet the deadline, you MUST deliver it to your county clerk’s office by 7:00 PM on Election Day.

You may also vote in-person. To vote in-person, you must surrender your mail ballot and vote at a designated voter service and polling center. The deadline to vote in-person is 7:00 PM on Election Day.

Q3. I use a walker and have great difficulty walking long distances without sitting down to rest. My polling place is in a building that has designated accessible parking and an accessible entrance. However, the actual polling place within the building is located a significant distance from the entrance closest to the parking lot. What can I do?

A3. If you prefer to cast your ballot in person, rather than vote by mail, you might consider informing your county clerk about this problem. They may be able to relocate the polling location within the building. If this isn’t feasible, they may be able to place a chair or bench along the route so that you can rest.

Q4. I have a reading disability and have trouble reading and understanding what is printed on my ballot. I would like to be able to vote privately and without help. What are my rights?

A4. The federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) and Colorado laws require that voters with disabilities be able to cast their vote privately and without assistance. Each county has purchased accessible voting machines to be used in every polling place election. These new voting machines use assistive and adaptive technology to provide the opportunity for voters with a wide range of disabilities to vote privately and independently.

Q5. I have a mental disability. Are there any restrictions on my right to vote in Colorado?

A5. No. Although some states restrict those with mental disabilities from voting, no such restrictions exist under Colorado law.

Q6. I have a friend or a relative who is currently confined in a mental institution. Will they be given a ballot to vote?

A6. Section 1-2-103 of the Colorado Revised Statutes, specifies that individuals confined in a state institution with behavioral or mental health disorders “shall not lose the right to vote because of [their] confinement.” Meaning, that as long as the confined individual is otherwise eligible to vote, he/she will be given a ballot. Colorado law further requires that state institutions for person with behavioral or mental health disorders help assist confined individuals register to vote and obtain a mail ballot.

Q7. I have a relative or a friend who I do not believe can understand or cast a ballot. What can I do?

A7. Regardless of how others view an individual’s state of mind, if the individual has the ability to direct how they would like to vote and they are otherwise registered to vote, then they must be allowed to vote. What matters is the voter’s intent: if the voter’s intent can be determined, then the voter must be allowed to vote.

If the individual is unable to articulate his/her preference when voting, then others should not cast a vote for them.

Q8. What can I do if I believe that my voting rights have been violated?

A8. You can file an election complaint directly with the Secretary of State’s office at 1700 Broadway, Suite 200, Denver, CO 80290. The election complaint template can be found on the Secretary of State’s website within the Help America Vote Act link under the Election Laws, Rules, and Resources tab.

If you need assistance completing and filing your complaint, you may contact Disability Law Colorado. You can contact Disability Law Colorado by calling either their Denver office at 1-800-288-1376 or 303-722-3619 (TTY) or their Grand Junction office at 1-800-531-2105 (V/TTY).

As mentioned previously, our goal is to connect as many people receiving services to voting as possible by removing any potential barriers and eliminating any confusion. We are here for you and happy to help in any way that we can!
For further questions, comments or concerns related to voting, please email Support’s DEI Committee at DEICommittee@supportinc.com.

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Voting Information

With the election coming up, Support is relaying critical voter information for those residing in Colorado. From voting deadlines to voter registration, there’s plenty to track in the next few weeks.

Even though there’s deadlines to meet and requirements to vote, this doesn’t mean that voting has to be difficult! Coloradoans are fortunate to live in a state where vote-by-mail is easily accessible. Furthermore, our Secretary of State Jena Griswold has provided additional voting options for people with disabilities with electronic ballot access from home.
And even though we recommend registering to vote soon, you can also register to vote on Election Day if need be. We strongly support individuals with disabilities having access to the polls-we ultimately want to help make this process as seamless and easy to understand as possible.

So let’s talk about voting deadlines and how to register to vote. First, we have the deadlines to cover:

Important dates to know for Election 2020

Oct. 9

  • Ballots start to get mailed out to active voters

Oct. 19

  • Drop boxes open to start accepting ballots
  • Voting and polling centers open

Oct. 26

  • Last day to update your registration to receive a ballot by mail
  • Last day to mail your ballot back

Oct. 27

  • You can no longer mail your ballot back! Drop it off in a ballot box, or head to a polling center.

Nov. 3

  • Election Day
  • Last day to vote — ballots must be received by 7 p.m.
  • In Colorado, you can both register to vote and vote on Election Day

If you prefer, take a screenshot of this image and save it to your phone. Pro tip: Saving reminders in your phone can help you remember to meet the deadlines in a timely manner.

Next, we have registration information:

To register in Colorado you must:

  • be a citizen of the United States
  • be a resident of Colorado for at least 22 days immediately before the Election in which you intend to vote
  • be at least 16 years old, but you must be at least 17 and turning 18 on or before the date of the next general election to be eligible to vote in a primary election, and at least 18 to be eligible to vote in any other election
  • not be serving a sentence of detention or confinement for a felony conviction
  • *find more information on voting rights restoration here

How to register to vote:

  1. You can register online if you have an active Colorado driver’s license or ID card. If you don’t have a Colorado-issued ID, you can still register to vote by mail or in person. Here is a link to the website where you can register: https://www.sos.state.co.us/voter/pages/pub/olvr/verifyNewVoter.xhtml  You can register to vote up until election day in Colorado, but Monday, October 26th, 2020 is the deadline to register to vote and receive a ballot by mail. Monday the 26th is also the deadline to submit a ballot by mail and ensure it is counted. If you fill out a ballot after the 26th, you can still drop it off at a ballot box or polling center.
  2. Register by mail a registration form is attached, and can also be found online at: https://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/elections/vote/VoterRegFormEnglish.pdf

If you are a resident of Colorado and do not have a Colorado ID, or you just prefer to send your form by mail, you may register this way. Keep in mind that your registration needs to be received by the 26th in order for you to receive a ballot through the mail.

3. Eligible voters with a disability may request to access a ballot and vote electronically. Voters with a disability can now vote an electronic ballot independently and privately from their own home or other location. During the 22 days before and on election day, the electronic ballot access website, myballot.sos.colorado.gov., will guide you through the process of voting your ballot. Once you have voted your ballot, you must print the completed ballot, print the accessible ballot application provided, and then sign the accessible ballot application. All of these materials must be returned together. You may return your printed ballot materials in person to either a county drop-box or voter service and polling center or through the mail. Your ballot and application must be received no later than 7 PM on election day.

4. Register to vote in-person. Registering to vote in-person may be done at a physical office, which includes:

-A Colorado Department of Motor Vehicle office when you apply for a driver’s license, or when updating your driver’s license information;

-Offices that provide public assistance, including offices that provide state funded programs primarily engaged in providing services to person with disabilities;

-Recruitment offices of the armed forces of the United States;

-Any federal, state, or local government office or any nongovernment office that chooses to provide voter registration service or applications; or

-A voter service and polling center.

 Not sure if you are registered or want to check your address? Review your status here: https://www.sos.state.co.us/voter/pages/pub/olvr/findVoterReg.xhtml

Again, readers can save this image to their phones as a guide to voter registration. Set alarms in your phone to remind you to register to vote soon!

Plain Language Voting Guide

Perhaps the best resource we could relay would be the Plain Language Guide for individuals with disabilities. The Arc of Larimer County has pieced together this important guide that covers a variety of topics, such as what is voting, who can vote, and what to do when your voting rights have been denied. To learn more, follow this link.

This information was sourced from the Colorado Secretary of State website and The Arc of Larimer County and is part of an initiative by the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council to share voting information and resources. Be on the lookout for further information and related updates in the Support, Inc. Newsletter and on the Support, Inc. Facebook page. at www.facebook.com/supportinc1989