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Election FAQs

Who can vote in City elections?

To vote in a City election you must reside within the Fort Collins city limits for at least 22 days prior to the election and be registered to vote.

Many people believe they should be allowed to vote in City elections because they own property or a business in Fort Collins. Others believe that a Fort Collins mailing address or the fact that they pay City sales tax while shopping in Fort Collins should qualify them. While we understand your desire to participate in City elections, the law simply does not permit it.

Why don't I get to vote for a District candidate?

District Councilmembers are nominated and elected by the voters in their District. The election of District Councilmembers alternates so that voters from Districts 1, 3, and 5 elect Councilmembers in one election, and voters from Districts 2, 4 and 6 elect Councilmembers in the next election. All Districts vote on candidates for the office of Mayor at every election (Elections are held April of odd-numbered years).

What is the political affiliation of each candidate?

Article VIII, Section 2 of the City Charter provides that all municipal elections shall be nonpartisan. Candidates are not required to provide information about their party affiliation, nor does the City specifically know the party affiliation of each candidate.

Where can I get information about the candidates/issues?

The City Clerk's Office can provide information about who the candidates are and what the issues are, but cannot provide information about a candidate's platform or the pros and cons of a particular issue. We will provide contact information for candidates, candidate committees, and issue committees upon request. You can also find information on our other web pages under specific election dates.

How and when can I find out the results of the election?

The unofficial final results of the City election will be posted on the City's web site immediately following completion of tabulation of the ballots. A link from the City's home page, as well as links from the election pages, will be available on election day. Results are also provided on the City's cable television station, Cable 14. In addition, the local newspaper usually provides extensive coverage in the morning paper the day after the election.

The City encourages voters to return their ballots early, which will ensure quicker results after 7:00 p.m. on election day. Ballots returned at the last minute will delay results.

Where do I vote?

Anywhere you want. Your ballot will be mailed to your home. You may vote the ballot wherever (and whenever) is most convenient for you -- in your car, at the breakfast table, at your office. When you are finished, simply place your ballot in the return envelope, complete the information on the outside of the envelope, and drop it in the mail. Just remember to mail it in time to reach the City Clerk by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day.

Voters who would rather not use the mail may drop their ballot at the City Clerk's Office, City Hall West, 300 LaPorte Avenue, or several other locations around the city.

Why didn't I get a ballot?

Ballots are mailed to all voters registered at an address within the Fort Collins city limits. If you didn't get a ballot it could be because:

  • you moved and didn’t change your address
  • you live outside the City limits
  • you’re not a registered elector
What if I make a mistake on my ballot?

If you make a mistake on your ballot, or for some other reason are unable to use the ballot mailed to you, the City Clerk's Office can issue a replacement ballot. Requests for replacement ballots may be made in person, in writing (by mail or by fax), or by telephone. Any person requesting a replacement ballot must complete a sworn statement on a form provided by the City Clerk. Individuals requesting a ballot in person at the City Clerk's Office will complete the statement and will be provided with a replacement ballot immediately. Replacement ballots requested in writing or by phone will be mailed to the voter along with the required form. The form must be signed in the presence of a notary and returned in the envelope with the voted ballot.

Why do I have to put my signature on the outside of the envelope when I return my ballot?

The purpose for the signature on the outside of the return envelope is to allow election officials to examine the return envelope and compare the information on the envelope to the voter registration records to determine whether the ballot was submitted by an eligible elector who has not previously voted in the election.

Voters who are not comfortable with mailing the return envelope with the signature on the outside may return their ballots to ballot boxes located in the City Clerk's Office. It is also permissible to put the return envelope in another larger envelope addressed to the address on the return envelope. The larger envelope can include more than one ballot, as long as each ballot is sealed in the voter's return envelope and the voter has completed the return envelope with his or her signature. (Be sure to affix adequate postage to the larger envelope if it contains more than one ballot.)

In a mail ballot election, what prevents people from influencing the way others in their household vote?

We cannot control the behavior of voters in their own homes. We cannot prevent people from discussing the ballot. In fact, mail balloting may encourage discussion and debate among family members that may not occur in a polling place election. Personal "influence" can affect any vote -- even one cast at a polling place.

Why does Fort Collins use mail ballots?

Mail ballot elections tend to increase voter participation and remove the barriers that may keep some people from going to the polls. Mail balloting is especially convenient for disabled voters and enhances the inclusiveness of the democratic process. It is convenient and easy for voters to consider a mail ballot at their convenience, in the comfort of their own homes, and allows more time for voters to study issues and candidates before marking their ballots.

Can alcohol be sold and/or served on election day?

Yes. It is legal for bars, restaurants, and liquor stores to sell alcohol beverages on election day. The state law prohibiting alcohol sales on election day was repealed in 1990.