It’s my first time voting. Where do I begin?


Shira Nathan

2022 Voter Guide, delivered to people’s doors.

Shira Nathan, Co-Editor-in-Chief

As a young voter in America, you hold more power than you think you do. As of July 2021, 30 million Americans fell between the ages of 18-24, according to the US Census. That’s a significant chunk of the voting demographic (roughly 9% percent of the total population). Presidents have been elected with much thinner margins

The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) states that “Voting is a fundamental act of civic participation through which young people contribute to democracy. While it’s just one of many forms that youth engagement can take, it is a powerful way for young people to make their voices heard and to have an impact on issues that affect them and their communities; it can also serve as an entry point to other forms of participation.” You are eligible to vote if “you will be 18 years of age or older at the time of the next election, are a United States citizen, are a Colorado resident and have lived in your current precinct for at least 30 days before the election, [and] are not serving a sentence (including parole) for a felony conviction”, as detailed by the website for the Colorado Secretary of State. 

The importance of voting is irrefutable (though often overlooked). However, it can be intimidating and confusing when approaching it for the first time. If this midterm election is your first time being able to vote, you may be overwhelmed by the barrage of campaign ads and infographics. While these tactics can serve to get out a candidate’s message, they are often not the best source of concrete information on the candidates, the issues at stake, and how to go about actually casting your vote. 


The purpose of this article is threefold: To encourage you to vote, to point you towards useful resources on how and where to register and vote, and to provide you with concise information about who and what is on the ballot.




If you’re not registered yet, there are many ways to do so, including in person on Election Day. The easiest way to register is online. You can register through various websites, including  New Era Colorado  which is an organization that is specifically tailored to young voters. Their website is extensive and also includes information about candidates and how to get involved further. 

This year’s midterm elections are highly contentious, and many Colorado politicians are on the ballot—both at the state and national levels. Most notably, Governor Jared Polis (Dem.) is up for re-election, running against Heidi Ghanal (Rep.).  Michael Bennet (U.S Senate, Dem.) is also running against challenger Joe O’Dea (Rep.). Joe Neguse (Dem.), the congressional representative for Colorado District 2 (which contains Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins), is up against Marshall Dawson (Rep.) in this election. 


On the Ballot:

Here are the candidates and their main campaign issues, organized by election:


Governor: Jared Polis (Dem.) Vs. Heidi Ganahl (Rep.) 

Jared Polis, the first openly gay man elected to be a U.S Governor, is running for a second term. He has campaigned on a platform of ‘saving Coloradans money’. Amid high inflation rates and economic turmoil, the economy is listed as a top concern among voters, with79% saying it will be very important to their voting decisions”, according to the Pew Research Center.  

His challenger, Heidi Ghanal, has run on a platform of “righting the economy, increasing fossil fuel production, cracking down on crime, slashing income taxes, fighting “woke” values in education and restricting abortion rights. If elected, she would be Colorado’s first female governor. 

Find more details about their positions here.


U.S Senate: Michael Bennet (Dem.) Vs. Joe O’Dea (Rep.) 

Incumbent Michael Bennet has made economic and children’s issues, poverty in particular, central to his political focus, most recently with his drive for an expanded Child Tax Credit.” Challenger Joe O’Dea’s agenda is to “reduce inflation, cut the debt, support the police and military, defend working Americans,” per his campaign website. 

Find more details about their positions here.


Colorado House District 2: Joe Neguse (Dem.) Vs. Marshall Dawson (Rep.)

Joe Neguse is looking for a third term in the house, centering his campaign around wildfire prevention and gun control, following the Marshall Fire in December of last year and the King Soopers shooting in March 2020. Some of his notable achievements in office include cosponsoring the Keep Americans Safe Act and sponsoring the Climate Readiness Act of 2021

Marshall Dawson has listed his main priorities as “Peace, Power, and Prosperity”, citing school safety, the Colorado fentanyl crisis, and reducing inflation as major campaign issues.

Find more details about their positions here. 



There are also 11 initiatives/propositions that Colorado voters have the opportunity to determine on the 2022 ballot. Notable ones include Proposition 121, which would reduce the state income tax rate if passed, Proposition FF, which would create a “Healthy Meals for All Public School Students” program if passed, and Proposition 123, which would increase the amount of money allocated to Affordable Housing Programs by the state. 

Read about all the propositions and initiatives here. 



Ballots have already begun arriving in the mail in preparation for the November 8th Elections. If you are not yet registered to vote, you can still do so right up until Election Day. However, if you want to vote by mail, October 31st is the last day to register in order to receive a mail-in ballot. November 1st is the recommended last day for mailing. Votes need to be in by 7 p.m on Election Day (If voting in-person, you must be in line by 7 p.m). 

Voting is an essential civic duty that provides the most effective opportunity for civilians to push for the change they want to see. As a young voter, it’s crucial for you to exercise your newfound right if you want to have a say in your future and that of the country. More resources for how to register, where to vote, and other ballot information can be found below. 


Happy Voting!