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

Secretary of State
Jena Griswold


Voters with Disabilities FAQs

Versión en Español

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, if you’ve received it, and vote at a designated voter service and polling center in your county. 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).