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Voting in Colorado

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Barbara ORourke

Junior Member
My question: To: Public Elections
Subject: Time off work to vote
Hello, can you tell me if there is a law that states employees get any PAID time off to vote?
Answer:Dear Ms. O'Rourke:
Please see below for CRS (Colorado Revised Statutes) 1-7-102. Employees entitled to vote.

1-7-102. Employees entitled to vote.

(1) Eligible electors entitled to vote at an election shall be entitled to absent themselves for the purpose of voting from any service or employment in which they are then engaged or employed on the day of the election for a period of two hours during the time the polls are open. Any such absence shall not be sufficient reason for the discharge of any person from service or employment. Eligible electors, who so absent themselves shall not be liable for any penalty, nor shall any deduction be made from their usual salary or wages, on account of their absence. Eligible electors who are employed and paid by the hour shall receive their regular hourly wage for the period of their absence, not to exceed two hours. Application shall be made for the leave of absence prior to the day of election. The employer may specify the hours during which the employee may be absent, but the hours shall be at the beginning or end of the work shift, if the employee so requests.

(2) This section shall not apply to any person whose hours of employment on the day of the election are such that there are three or more hours between the time of opening and the time of closing of the polls during which the elector is not required to be on the job.

Source: L. 92: Entire article R&RE, p. 732, § 9, effective January 1, 1993.

Editor's note: This section was contained in an article that was repealed and reenacted in 1980 and 1992. Provisions of this section, as it existed in 1992, are the same as those contained in 1-7-102 as said section existed in 1991, the year prior to the most recent repeal and reenactment of this article. Provisions of this section, as it existed in 1980, are the same as those contained in 1-5-102 as said section existed in 1979, the year prior to the first repeal and reenactment of this article.
Cross references: For employer guilty of a misdemeanor for violation of this section, see § 1-13-719 (1)(b) and (2).

Am. Jur.2d. See 26 Am. Jur.2d, Elections, § 298.
Law reviews. For article, "Punitive Damages in Wrongful Discharge Cases", see 15 Colo. Law. 658 (1986).
Catherine Hill
Administrative Assistant
Elections Division
1700 Broadway, Ste 270
Denver, CO 80290
303-894-2200, Ext. 6308
My company states they will allow the employees to use their Leave or Personal time to vote. I believe this is a penalty for my employees according to section (1). Will you please offer clarification as to whether this penalizes the employee by forcing them to use some of their saved leave time or personal time to vote.

Thank you very much,
Barbara O'Rourke


Senior Member
Non exempt employees do not have to be paid for any time they do not work. Not offering extra paid time off on election day is not a penalty. A penalty would be if you were fired, or charged attendance points, for taking time off to vote.

The polls are open all day and located all over the place, no one should need to take off more then an hour or 2 to vote anyway.


I'm a Northern Girl
There are a few exceptions where an employee IS entitled to pay when they do not work, and time off to vote (in some states) is one of them. Colorado IS one of the states where an employee is entitled to PAID time off for voting. Such time is limited to two hours.

Time off to vote is not required if the employee has 3 non-work hours when the polls are open. Employee must request time off in advance of Election Day.

I cannot find anything that prohibits the employer from requiring an employee to use leave time, but I cannot find anything giving them permission to use time, either, and in this case I'm not so sure that the lack of a prohibition means permission. I would definitely check this one with the state DOL.

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