Voting with a Felony or Misdemeanor

Voting in Colorado with a Criminal Conviction, C.R.S. 1-2-103

It is a common misconception that those with a criminal record / conviction are ineligible to vote. There are many factors which affect voting eligibility, including the nature of the crime and whether or not the sentence has been served.

Because it is a class 5 felony (C.R.S. 1-13-704.5) to vote in an election when you know you are not legally permitted to vote, it is important that you resolve eligibility questions and understand what requirements / restrictions exist for voting in places like Denver, Boulder, and Arapahoe County.

Basic Voting Rules for Everyone

First, remember that the same base rules apply to all wishing to vote, whether they have been convicted or not. In order to be eligible to register to vote, the intended voter must:

*be at least 18 years of age at the time of the next election

*be a United States citizen

*have adopted Colorado as a fixed and permanent habitation, as well as intends to make the place their true home. They must have lived in the state for at least 30 days before the election.

Next, there is some confusion for people charged with or convicted of crimes in counties such as Douglas, Adams, and Jefferson County.

C.R.S. 1-2-103 (4) states that "No person while serving a sentence of detention or confinement in a correctional facility, jail, or other location for a felony conviction or while serving a sentence or parole shall be eligible to register to vote or to vote in any election; however, a confined prisoner who is awaiting trial but has not been tried shall be certified by the institutional administrator and shall be permitted to register to vote by mail registration pursuant to part 5 of this article."

Felony Restrictions, Probation and Pretrial

As a result of this law, people currently serving time in jail, prison, or parole for a felony conviction are not eligible to vote. Once the offender is released from incarceration, having served his sentence (including parole), he will be eligible to vote. While on probation for a felony, a person can vote. Note that if someone has not yet been convicted of the felony they are in jail for, they can still vote.

Misdemeanors, Probation and the Pretrial Period

If a person has been convicted of a misdemeanor and is currently serving time in a county jail, they are eligible to vote. If a person is currently in jail or on bond, waiting to be sentenced for a misdemeanor, they are eligible to vote. If someone is currently on probation for a misdemeanor, they are eligible to vote.

If you are still unsure of your voting rights, or have been unlawfully denied voter registration, contact us today at the O'Malley Law Office at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.

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