Neel: Voting and identification requirements
October 17, 2012
Over the last several months, record numbers of Summit County residents have either registered to vote, updated their voter information or requested mail-in ballots. Many who registered to vote are perhaps new to Colorado and have not yet obtained a State of Colorado issued driver’s license or ID card. Although supplying the last four digits of a Social Security number is adequate in order to register to vote, it is not an acceptable form of ID for voting purposes. Those who go to the polls to vote without proper identification will be offered a provisional ballot. A provisional ballot is given to a voter whose eligibility to vote can’t be determined at the polls by the election judges. Valid provisional ballots are not counted until well after Election Day, and only after proper identification has been presented.
Voters who applied for mail-in ballots and did not supply a legitimate mailing address will find themselves in the same boat as those without acceptable identification. At this time, hundreds of mail-in ballots will be returned to the election office as undeliverable because of bad mailing addresses. Once a person applies for a mail-in ballot, it is the method of voting assigned to them. On Election Day a mail-in voter at the polls will be issued a provisional ballot, and it will only be counted after it has been determined the mail-in ballot was not cast.
Mail-in voters should also check the back of their return envelopes to see if they are required to provide a copy of their identification along with the ballot.
(a) A valid Colorado driver’s license;
(b) A valid identification card issued by the Department of Revenue in accordance with the requirements of Part 3 of Article 2 of Title 42, C.R.S.;
(c) A valid U.S. passport;
(d) A valid employee identification card with a photograph of the eligible elector issued by any branch, department, agency or entity of the United States government or of this state, or by any county, municipality, board, authority or other political subdivision of this state;
(e) A valid pilot’s license issued by the Federal Aviation Administration or other authorized agency of the United States;
(f) A valid U.S. military identification card with a photograph of the eligible elector (may have an out of state address);
(g) A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that shows the name and address of the elector. For example:
(I) A cable bill or telephone bill;
(II) Documentation from a public institution of higher education in Colorado containing at least the name, date of birth and legal residence address of the student elector;
(III) A paycheck from a government institution or private company;
(IV) A certificate of degree of Indian or Alaskan Native blood;
(h) A valid Medicare or Medicaid card issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (formerly the United States Health Care Financing Administration);
(i) A certified copy of a U.S. birth certificate for the elector issued in the United States;
(j) Certified documentation of naturalization;
(k) A valid student identification card with a photograph of the eligible elector issued by an institute of higher education in Colorado, as defined in section 23-3.1-102(5), C.R.S.;
(l) A valid veteran identification card issued by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Health Administration with a photograph of the eligible elector;
(m) A valid identification card issued by a federally recognized tribal government certifying tribal membership.
If you requested a mail-in ballot, but did not provide a valid mailing address, or did not receive a ballot, call the election office at (970)453-3479 and make arrangements to receive a replacement ballot. Mail ballots were mailed out on Monday.
I want all eligible electors in Summit County to have the opportunity to vote, and to have your votes counted on Election Day, not two weeks later.
If you have any questions, call the election office – we are here to help you.
Kathleen Neel is the Summit County Clerk and Recorder. Contact her at (970) 453-3471 or firstname.lastname@example.org.