Democracy Action

Colorado Research

General information

Senator Cory Gardner is the most vulnerable Republican in the Senate. In order to build a Senate majority, we have to defeat Cory Gardner.

The Democratic nominee is Colorado’s previous Governor (serving from 2013–2019), John Hickenlooper.

In addition to the Senate race, Colorado has a competitive election in its 3rd US House district. This is a seat currently held by Republican Scott Tipton. Scott lost the Republican Primary to Lauren Boebert, who has expressed support for QAnon. The Democratic candidate is Diane Mitch Bush.

On the Presidential level, Biden is favored to win Colorado but it’s not a state that can be taken for granted.

Voter resources

Colorado Voter Protection Hotline:

Colorado is a 100% Vote-By-Mail state. Voters can still choose to vote in person, but the default way to vote is by mail. All active registered voters automatically receive a ballot in the mail. (Registered voters lose “active” status if mail sent by their county clerk is returned as undeliverable)

Colorado requires vote by mail ballots to be received on Election Day in order to count. At this point, voters in Colorado who have not already returned their ballots should return their ballots in-person or use in-person voting — they should not put their ballots in the mail.

If voters have questions about registering, or checking their registration, or the location of their voting center, or finding their nearest ballot drop box: Please refer them to

Voting with a Mail Ballot

  • All active registered voters will automatically be sent a mail ballot by their County Clerk. Voters with inactive status must update their voter registration record in order to automatically receive a mail ballot.
    • Voters without internet access should contact their County Clerk to update their voter registration record.

Mail Ballot Return Methods

  • Secure 24-hour dropbox: Thisis the safest and most secure way to return a mail ballot. All ballot dropboxes are monitored 24 hours a day with security cameras. Voters should contact their County Clerk for a list of ballot dropboxes in their county.
  • Voter Service & Polling Center (VSPC) Drive-Thru: Manycounties offer a drive-thru mail ballot return at VSPCs.
  • VSPC Inside Return:​ Mail ballots can be returned directly to VSPCs by going inside to return to election workers.
  • USPS:​ Mail ballots can be returned by mailing back via USPS. Voters must include the correct amount of postage when mailing back their ballot.
    • With delayed USPS delivery times, voters are strongly encouraged to return their mail ballot using a method that does not involve USPS.
  • Other Return Methods:​ Some counties offer additional mail ballot return methods. Voters should contact their County Clerk for the most accurate information in their county.

When do mail ballots have to be received in order to count?

  • Returning via USPS: ​If a voter chooses to mail back their ballot, the mail ballot must be received by their County Clerk by 7:00 PM MT on Election Day, November 3, to count.
    • Mail ballots postmarked by November 3 but received after 7:00 PM MT on November 3 WILL NOT BE COUNTED.
  • Returning via secure 24-hour dropbox: Ifa voter chooses to return their mailballot using a 24-hour dropbox, the ballot must be in the dropbox no later than 7:00 PM MT on Election Day, November 3, to count.
  • Returning via Voter Service & Polling Center​: If a voter chooses to return their mail ballot directly to a VSPC, they can do so via drive-thru ballot drop off, secure 24-hour dropbox at the VSPC, or inside the VSPC. When using any of these VSPC return methods, the mail ballot must be returned no later than 7:00 PM MT on Election Day, November 3, to count.

If a voter did not receive a ballot in the mail in a recent election

  • Visit www​​ where the voter can login to their voter record. If their registration does not have their current address, they can update their registration with their new address on the same website to receive a ballot in the mail this October.
  • If the address on their registration is correct and they still didn’t receive a mail ballot in a recent election, direct them to call their County Clerk to address this.

When will voters begin receiving mail ballots?

  • County Clerks will begin sending initial mail ballots for the 2020 General Election on Friday, October 9. The last day for County Clerks to send initial mail ballots is Friday, October 16.
    • The US Postal Service has warned states that delayed delivery times mean that mail ballots could take one week to deliver. With Columbus Day falling on Monday, October 12, this means mail ballots sent on 10/9 could be delivered as late as October 17. Those sent on 10/16 could be delivered as late as October 23.

How will voters know if their mail ballot has been sent?

  • Voters can visit www​​ and login to their voter record. Once logged in, their voter record should indicate if their mail ballot has been sent.
    • If a voter does not have internet access or cannot find this information online, they should contact their County Clerk.

How will voters know if their mail ballot has been received by their County Clerk?

  • Using an intelligent barcode tracking system, County Clerks offer online services and mobile apps to track mail ballots.
  • Voters should contact their County Clerk for information on mail ballot tracking.

If a voter will be out-of-town when initial mail ballots are issued

  • September 19 is the first day a County Clerk can issue a mail ballot to a voter who requests one in-person.

Voter Identification & Mail Ballots

  • If a voter recently registered for the first time, they may need to provide a copy of an acceptable form of ID along with their mail ballot.
    • Their County Clerk will have provided instructions about the ID requirement along with their ballot.

If a voter doesn’t receive a mail ballot/makes a mistake, damages, or loses their ballot

  • Voters can request a new mail ballot from their County Clerk or vote in-person at a VSPC.

In-Person Early Voting

  • If a voter prefers to vote in-person, they may do so at any Voter Service and Polling Center in their county.
  • The first day of in-person early voting at VSPCs differs county-to-county, and voters should call their County Clerk to verify in-person voting dates, times, and VSPC locations.
    • The minimum number of VSPC locations must be open by Monday, October 19. Some counties may opt to open one or more VSPC locations before this date. Voters should check with their County Clerk for county-specific information.
  • If a voter opts to vote in-person, they may turn in their mail ballot at the VSPC location where they are voting. Voters arenot required to turn in their mail ballot in order to vote in-person at a VSPC.
  • The list of VSPC locations will not be finalized statewide until mid-September. Voters should contact their County Clerk for county-specific information.
  • Identification is required for voters who opt to vote in-person at a VSPC.
  • If voters insist on voting in-person, encourage them to vote as early as possible. In the last three general elections, an average of 82% of all in-person voting at VSPCs occurred on Election Day (71.3%) or the day before (11%). Voting as early as possible will reduce the likelihood of long wait times as counties work to follow Covid-19 social distancing and sanitation requirements at VSPCs.

In-Person Election Day Voting

  • Voter Service & Polling Centers are open on Election Day from 7am-7pm MT.
    • They must be in line at their VSPC by 7:00 PM MT on Nov. 3 to vote.
  • The list of VSPC locations will not be finalized statewide until mid-September. Voters should contact their County Clerk for county-specific information.
  • Identification is required for voters who opt to vote in-person at a VSPC.

Acceptable Forms of Identification for In-Person Voting

  • A valid Colorado driver’s license or valid identification card issued by the Colorado Department of Revenue. (Note: documents issued to not lawfully present and temporarily lawfully present individuals under Part 5 of Article 2 of Title 42, C.R.S. are not acceptable forms of identification.)
  • A valid U.S. passport.
  • A valid employee identification card with a photograph of the eligible elector issued by any branch, department, agency, or entity of the U.S. government or of Colorado, or by any county, municipality, board, authority, or other political subdivision of Colorado.
  • A valid pilot’s license issued by the federal aviation administration or other authorized agency of the U.S.
  • A valid U.S. military identification card with a photograph of the eligible elector.
  • A copy of a current (within the last 60 days) utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the elector.
  • A Certificate of Degree of Indian or Alaskan Native Blood.
  • A valid Medicare or Medicaid card issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
  • A certified copy of a U.S. birth certificate for the elector.
  • Certified documentation of naturalization.
  • 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..
  • A valid veteran identification card issued by the U.S. department of veterans affairs veterans health administration with a photograph of the eligible elector.
  • A valid identification card issued by a federally recognized tribal government certifying tribal membership.

Additional Resources

Joe Biden talking points
Joe Biden

Joe Biden says we’re facing a serious threat that we have to fight together.

We need a president who will tell us the truth, who will take responsibility, and listen to medical experts. A president who will lead and be an example for the nation.

We have to do all we can to keep our families safe.

Joe says this crisis is a reminder that our country wasn’t built by Wall Street and CEOs, it was built by hardworking families, nurses, teachers and small businesses.

It’s time we raise wages to pay all working people a fair return on their work, create a fairer tax system, and ensure everyone and every child can access affordable, quality health care.


Joe Biden dice que nos enfrentamos a una seria amenaza contra la que tenemos que luchar juntos.

Necesitamos un presidente que nos diga la verdad, que asuma la responsabilidad y escuche a los expertos médicos. Un presidente que liderará y será un ejemplo para la nación.

Tenemos que hacer todo lo posible para mantener a nuestras familias seguras.

Joe dice que esta crisis es un recordatorio de que nuestro país no fue construido por Wall Street y los directores ejecutivos (CEOs), fue construido por familias trabajadoras, enfermeras, maestros y pequeñas empresas.

Es hora de que aumentemos los salarios para pagar a todos los trabajadores un rendimiento justo por su trabajo, crear un sistema fiscal más justo y garanticemos que todos y cada niño puedan acceder a una atención médica accesible y de calidad.

Health Care

“Joe knows that health care is personal, and he believes that every American –regardless of zip code – should have access to affordable and quality health care. Joe wants families to have the peace of mind they deserve, and he’s going to build on the Affordable Care Act by giving Americans more choice, reducing health care costs, and making our health care system less complex to navigate.”

Build Back Better (Economy and Jobs)

“Joe has a plan to create millions of good-paying jobs and to give America’s working families the tools, choices, and freedom they need to build back better. Trump passed a big tax cut for the corporate special interests, and Joe’s going to turn our economy around and fight for middle class workers. That means helping small businesses come out the other side of this crisis stronger than ever, and holding corporate America accountable.”

Safe Reopening (Controlling the Pandemic)

“The challenge facing our schools is unprecedented, and Joe Biden believes that the decision about when to reopen safely should be made by state, tribal, and local officials, based on science and with the safety of students and educators in mind. We want to reopen schools safely, but only once cases keep coming down. Schools need clear, consistent, effective national guidelines, not mixed messages and political ultimatums.”

COVID-19 (General Questions)

“Joe’s been honest with the American people about what is necessary to beat this challenge, and knows that we are up to this task and that we will meet this challenge together as one America. Joe knows how to mount an effective crisis response and elevate the voices of scientists, public health experts, and first responders because he has done it before.”


K-12 Education: “As president, Joe will support our educators by giving them the pay and dignity they deserve. He is committed to investing in all children from birth, so that regardless of their zip code, parents’ income, race, or disability, they are prepared to succeed in tomorrow’s economy.”

Higher education: “Joe believes that all hard-working Americans should have the chance to join or maintain their place in the middle class. He’s proposing a bold plan for education and training beyond high school, he’ll invest in community colleges and strengthen college as the reliable pathway.”

Climate Change

Environmental Justice: “Joe’s going to protect our environment and resources for all of us — that means protecting access to clean water, holding polluters accountable, and making sure our low-income communities benefit from the clean energy economy. He’ll fight pollution, which harms our natural world and overwhelmingly hurts people of color.”

Clean Energy: “Our nation is in a moment of crisis and we need to rebuild this country with clean energy jobs that get our workers back on the job. Joe knows we’ve got to build a more resilient, sustainable economy that preserves our natural resources for future generations.”


“Joe’s got the experience we can trust to keep us safer. As a Senator, he wrote the Violence Against Women Act, and the Obama-Biden Administration increased funding to stop drug trafficking along the border. He wants to invest $300 million more into community policing to help bring us together and keep us safer.”


“As President, Joe will make smart investments in border security, while Donald Trump has failed for four years with his empty promises on a wall that won’t keep us safe. Biden will stop the inhumane practice of separating families, improve the speed at which we hear asylum cases, reform our visa system, secure our borders and help DREAMers.”

Trump’s Wall

“Joe’s going to focus on investments in smart border security, and ensure we don’t keep wasting taxpayer money on a wall that doesn’t work.”


Our Veterans: “Joe believes we have only one truly sacred obligation: to properly prepare and equip our troops when we send them into harm’s way, and to care for them and their families–both while they are deployed and after they return home. As the parents of a son who deployed to Iraq, Joe and Jill Biden understand the gravity of this promise.”

Military Families: “As parents of a service member who deployed to Iraq, Joe and Jill Biden understand that it’s not just military members who sign up to serve our nation, their families do too. They will ensure we keep our commitment to military families by relaunching and strengthening Joining Forces and improving support for caregivers of wounded, ill, or injured service members and veterans.”


“Trump’s had four years to help workers out — but instead, he passed big tax cuts for the corporate special interests. Joe will reverse Trump’s tax cuts for wealthy corporations and pursue a pro-American worker tax strategy to give our working families the fair shot they need to compete for jobs and market share.”

National Security

“Joe Biden believes that economic security is national security. As President, Joe will pursue a foreign policy for the middle class. To win the competition for the future against China, we must sharpen our innovative edge and unite the economic might of democracies around the world to stop abusive economic practices.”

Foreign Policy

“In a Biden administration, America will lead by example again, and rally the world to meet our common challenges that no one nation can face on its own — from climate change to combatting terrorism. He’ll strengthen America’s alliances and re-establish us as a leader on the world stage.”

Gun Violence

“Joe Biden knows that gun violence is a public health epidemic. That’s why he will pursue constitutional, common-sense gun safety policies that end our gun violence problem while respecting the Second Amendment.”

Unity Message

“Joe’s been clear from the first day of this campaign — he’s running to restore the soul of our nation, and unite us as a country once again. No matter where you come from, who you love, or who you pray to, in Joe Biden’s America, you’ll have an equal chance at success.”

More Information

About U.S. Senate candidate John Hickenlooper

Young John Hickenlooper

John Wright Hickenlooper was named for his father, who passed away when John was only eight years old but continues to have a lasting influence on John’s life.

“My father told me if you can laugh at something, it can never beat you.”

John Hickenlooper for U.S. Senate

John started out as a geologist, but after being laid off, he considered a variety of career options. Ultimately, he decided to open a restaurant in Lower Downtown, a then-neglected warehouse district in Denver. The result was Colorado’s first brewpub and a big hit. He started seven more small businesses and employed hundreds of Coloradans.

When the Denver Broncos planned to let a corporation remove the words “Mile High” from the Broncos’ new taxpayer-financed stadium, John led a grassroots campaign to keep the name. When he saw that he could bring people together, he decided to run for Mayor. In his first campaign (he’d never even run for student council!), John was elected Mayor of Denver in an unexpected landslide — even though he wasn’t a part of the political establishment. As Mayor, John worked to expand mass transit, reduce crime, tackle climate change, and improve educational opportunities for Denver students.

In 2010, John ran for Governor and helped to move Colorado from ranking 40th in job creation to leading by example as the number one economy in the nation. John brought people together across the aisle and across the state to get things done, from passing pioneering anti-pollution climate change measures and landmark gun safety laws to expanding Medicaid to nearly 400,000 Coloradans.

John Hickenlooper for U.S. Senate

Now, John is running for Senate to make Washington work for Coloradans. Just like he’s done throughout his career, he will use his independent perspective to bring people together to get things done — from lowering health care and prescription drug costs to keeping our families safe from gun violence, as well as protecting the state’s public lands while combating climate change.

More information

About CO-03 Candidate Diane Mitch Bush

The moderate Republican incumbent in CO-03, Scott Tipton, has lost his primary to QAnon supporter Lauren Boebert. This has made the election competitive for Democratic nominee Diane Mitch Bush.

Information about Diane Mitch Bush below is from EMILY’s List

A champion for Colorado’s working families

Raised by a single mother who achieved financial stability after joining the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union, Diane Mitsch Bush is a champion for working families. She previously served four years in the Colorado House of Representatives, where she led the fight for strengthening public education, increasing access to affordable health care, and protecting Colorado’s lands. She also served as a Routt County commissioner, working on issues important to rural Colorado including water rights, broadband access, transportation funding, and affordable housing. As a Routt County commissioner, Diane also helped balance the county’s budget during the Great Recession. Prior to serving as an elected official, she was a professor at Colorado Mountain College and Colorado State University. Diane has called Steamboat Springs home for over 40 years and currently lives there with her husband.

A public servant and former educator dedicated to expanding economic opportunity

Diane is deeply committed to expanding economic opportunity for rural Coloradans, improving access to affordable health care, and investing in public education. A former educator herself, Diane understands how important high quality public education is in improving the next generation’s economic outcomes. “I believe that high quality public education is the key to opportunity, because it was for me,” she has said. Diane also recognizes the need to invest in job training programs to prepare Colorado’s workers for today’s economy. “I have supported bills to help businesses create good jobs and provide workforce training, including apprenticeships,” she has said.

An opportunity to flip a seat from red to blue

Diane is running for the open seat being vacated by incumbent Republican Congressman Scott Tipton. She now faces an extremely conservative challenger who has promoted baseless conspiracy theories. Diane ran in 2018, and now this open seat is a prime opportunity to flip a seat and strengthen our House majority. Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District has not elected a Democrat in 12 years, and Diane is poised to change that.

Additional Resources

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