October 29 2004, 6:40 AM
Earlier in the week, we wrote about Fair Vote Colorado, a site that lets you check your voter registration status. As one of our own learned, that's advice that's worth repeating. Shortly after that item was posted, Patrick Doyle, 5280's new research editor, who recently moved to Denver from Philadelphia, discovered that he was one of the thousands of new voters whose registrations were never recorded. As Pat tells it:
Being a new resident to Colorado, I knew I had to register 30 days prior to the election in order to vote. While in Larimer Square on September 17, I was approached by a voter registration drive worker. It was convenient, so I filled out the requisite paperwork, signed it, and handed it back to her. I assumed that my registration went through and waited for my registration card in the mail with my district number and polling place. Having never received it, I started to worry, and logged onto fairvotecolorado.com to check my registration. I was noticeably absent. I tried calling up the Denver Election Commission, sat on hold for 25 minutes, and finally hung up.
I called up FairVote Colorado and spoke to a worker there. He explained that I was in the same boat as thousands of other voters whose forms had been "lost." Since it's past the voter registration date, I will have to cast an emergency provisional ballot on Nov. 2, or I can go and vote early. He said to bring several forms of ID, including a driver's license, passport, a utility bill, and a paycheck with my current address. He also emphasized that if the election officials give me a hard time, I should explain that I know my rights and can cast an emergency provisional ballot.
Finally, he recommended I call up the Denver Election Commission in December or January, after the election chaos has settled down, and make sure that they have all my information.Consider yourself warned. Again.