Following Marshall Fire, Bill to Preserve Voter Registration Options for Impacted Residents Introduced

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Elections Division Press Release

For Immediate Release

March 9, 2022

Media Contact
Mircalla Wozniak, 303-413-7766

Following Marshall Fire, Bill to Preserve Voter Registration Options for Impacted Residents Introduced

Legislation will codify standard voter registration practices following natural disasters

The below release was originally sent by Colorado Senate leadership. Our office worked with our local representatives to craft this legislation to codify standard voter registration practices following natural disasters.


BOULDER, CO – Yesterday, President Steve Fenberg (D-Boulder) and Senator Sonya Jaquez Lewis (D-Boulder County) introduced legislation that will ensure registered Colorado voters impacted by the Marshall Fire can continue using their home address on their voter registration, even if the home was destroyed or is uninhabitable.

Under SB22-152, voters who have been displaced as a result of a natural disaster such as fire, flood, tornado, or other event may still use their previous address as their residence for voter registration purposes while temporarily living at another location. Voters can simply update their voter registration with an alternative mailing address but leave their residential address as is. This bill will codify a standard practice that county election clerks have historically followed for displaced voters.

“The Marshall Fire forced thousands of Coloradans out of permanent residences and into temporary housing. Knowing that the rebuilding and recovery process will take months and even years, we need to be thinking ahead to make sure voter registration options are preserved,” said President Fenberg. “Every Coloradan deserves to cast a safe, secure vote in every election, and this legislation will ensure that we’re protecting the sacred right to vote for those impacted by the Marshall Fire, while establishing a clear process to abide by in the event of future disasters.”

“Part of what makes the Colorado system of voting a national gold standard is its flexibility and ease of receiving and returning a mail ballot,” Sen. Jaquez Lewis said. “I’m proud to bring forward legislation that will ensure those impacted by the Marshall Fire have the flexibility they need to continue voting easily where they always have. This bill represents one of the many ways the legislature is providing support to impacted Boulder County residents and is an important piece of short term recovery. I’m grateful to have partnered with Clerk Fitzpatrick to quickly bring this bill to fruition.”

“After the devastating Marshall Fire, we realized that law needed to provide voters clear options following displacement from a natural disaster,” said Boulder County Clerk and Recorder Molly Fitzpatrick. “This bill will clarify the process in law and allow residents who have been displaced by this tragedy to vote in their home community, even if they are currently living in a different city and need to for an extended period of time.”

Any displaced resident can take action now to update their voter registration with an alternative mailing address at There is an upcoming special election in Louisville scheduled for April 19 and a statewide primary on June 28. Please note that registration changes are not immediate, but reviewed by county personnel before going live in the system. Please allow up to several business days for the change to take effect in your voter registration record.

Voters can also view displaced voter registration guidance due to natural disasters on the Secretary of State’s website.

The bill will be heard in the Senate State, Veterans, & Military Affairs committee. You can follow the bill’s progress HERE.