My Name Is... Chris Jackson

Election expert on common voting pitfalls to avoid


About me

I’m a lawyer and a partner at Holland and Hart in Denver, specializing in appellate issues. I’ve argued cases in court dozens of times, and have handled work at the US Supreme Court, the Tenth Circuit, the Colorado Supreme Court and the Colorado Court of Appeals. I’m also an adjunct professor of election law at DU’s Sturm College of Law, and earlier in my career, I was an assistant attorney general at the Colorado Department of Law.

On politics

I’ve always been involved in politics. I think it’s great that everyone’s interested in the Presidency and the big races, but there are so many issues that affect our daily lives, that are really decided at the state and local level, I think it’s really important for voters to pay attention and get involved in what’s happening close to home.

How I got here

I’m originally from Reno, Nevada and when I graduated from high school, I went to Princeton for my undergraduate. Going from Reno to Princeton was a total culture shock. I majored in Philosophy, and it was such a beautiful campus that there was a time I thought I might pursue a career as a professor, but I decided to go to law school instead. The law can be like a more practical kind of philosophy. After graduating from Law School at the University of Michigan, I clerked for a judge on the 4th Circuit Appellate court and then spent a year in a DC Law Firm before my wife and I decided we wanted to be in Denver.

Being an attorney

These days, there are a lot fewer trials in general, but in the appellate stage there’s always an oral argument in front of judge, which I love. I also like the writing aspect of being a lawyer. When a case is appealed, you get the complete case to work on, but you really dig into a few issues of it to find those eureka moments where you hit on something that can help your side win.

Quarantine time

Right at the beginning of the COVID-19 shutdown, I was in the process of switching law firms. My first day at my new firm was March 30, so I spent the Friday before that working from home on one computer and then the following Monday, still working from home, but for a new firm with a new computer. It was a bit of a strange way to start a new job, but it’s been a great move.

Tips for the upcoming election

Remember to sign your ballot envelope. The most common error someone might make is not signing it. If that’s the case, the ballot won’t be counted as is, and will need to be corrected. Voters in this situation should receive a letter or an email informing them of the error. To fix it, they would need to verify their signature. There’s also a new program called TXT2cure which allows voters to text ‘Colorado2Vote’ and enter their voter ID to get started with the cure process over the phone. Voters only have nine days to cure a ballot issue, so getting your ballot in as soon as you can is important. Another common mistake is putting more than one ballot in an envelope. If that happens, there’s no way to fix it, and the ballots won’t be counted. Other problems can arise from filling out more than one choice on a ballot question or spilling something on the ballot or damaging it in a way that it can’t be read.

The best advice I can give is to take your time, read the instructions carefully and vote early if possible so that you have time to cure your ballot if necessary. And don’t forget to take the opportunity to vote for every race and every question on the ballot.

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