FACT CHECK: Does Colorado Require Photo ID for All Those Who Want to Vote In Person?

"To vote in Colorado, a person needs photo identification, just as they do at the will-call window at Coors Field," read an article in The National Review.

Ever since the Major League Baseball (MLB) said that it will move the All-Star Game out of Georgia in response to the state's new restrictive voter law and would instead be hosting the game at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado, a lot of debate is being done comparing the voting laws in the two states. Many experts have since been trying to explain how Colorado voting laws less complicated, while many have been speaking in support of the new voter law implemented in Georgia.

However, one of the most confusing claims being made lately is that much like in Georgia, in order to vote in Colorado, a person needs photo identification, just as they do at the will-call window at Coors Field. This has seen left many asking if Colorado really requires all in-person voters to show their photo identity before voting.

Confusing Claims

Matt Whitlock tweet
Republican Matt Whitlock tweet comparing Georgia and Colorado voting laws Twitter

A lot of articles have been published after the MLB announced shifting the All-Star Game out of Georgia to Colorado in response to the state's new restrictive voter law. Among these, one article in the National Review, that appears to defend the new voter law in Georgia, wrote: Another funny way of showing your concern for alleged "voting restrictions" is by moving the All-Star Game to a state that in many ways has voting laws at least as stringent as Georgia's. To vote in Colorado, a person needs photo identification, just as they do at the will-call window at Coors Field.

The article was run with the objective to tell that Colorado's voter laws and almost equally the same as Georgia's and that MLB's decision is more like a meaningless protest.

So far, the article read and made sense but the very next sentence complicated things further. The confusing next sentence in the article reads: "Like Colorado, Georgia allows voters without ID to use the last four digits of their Social Security number, a bank statement or utility bill, a paycheck, or any other government document with their name and address."

Sometime later, Republican communicator Matt Whitlock also shared an incomplete list of Colorado's voter-ID requirements. Following that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp even claimed about photo IDs during an appearance on Fox News earlier this week that added to the confusion. Kemp said, "They have 15 [days of in-person voting]. We have 17. They have a photo ID requirement for in-person voting as we do."

Since then social media users have been trying to find out more about the voter laws in Colorado and if in-person voting requires a photo ID. The debate that started with drawing comparisons between the voter laws of the two states, took a different turning making several social media users to find the authenticity behind the claims that voters require photo IDs in Colorado.

What's the Truth?

US Elections
US Elections (Representational Picture) Wikimedia Commons

To put it simple, Colorado does not require photo ID to vote in person. The confusion stems from the way the article was written and then the comments of Kemp. Kemp did say that Georgia has more days for in-person voting than Colorado but what he forgot to mention is that Colorado is an all-mail voting state. This means, every eligible voter in Colorado receives a mail-in ballot before an election.

In fact, mail-in ballot is more popular in Colorado meaning photo IDs don't hold any importance in this case. Although people have the option of voting in person if they chose to, majority of voters prefer to vote by mail. Even in 2020, over 99% of Colorado's vote arrived via mail.

And those who chose to vote in person don't require photo IDs. To put it simple, a Colorado voter may use any of several forms of identification, including some without a photo, in order to vote. The National Review in later part of the article also linked it to Colorado's Secretary of State website, which confirmed that people can use a "copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the elector" as a form of identification.

Georgia's new voting law is close to 100 pages and deals with far more than voter-ID requirements particularly photo IDs. Interestingly, the new law in Georgia moves the state away from Colorado's vote-by-mail approach, pushing more voters to show up in person. So, the claims that in-person voting in Colorado requires photo IDs is completed misinterpreted.