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colorado > Colorado Electoral Code > Recounts

1-10.5-102. Recounts for congressional, state, and district offices, state ballot questions, and state ballot issues

Overview of Statute

In the event of a required recount, the secretary of state should order a complete recount of all the votes cast for that office, ballot question or ballot issue, no later than the thirtieth day after the election. The secretary of state must notify the relevant county clerks by mail and fax when a recount is required. The public recount will be conducted in the county at a place of the secretary’s choosing, no later than the thirtieth day after the election. The secretary of state will make and provide each county clerk with the necessary rules to conduct the recount, including provisions for watchers during the recount. The rules for the recount should account for the voting system used for the recount.

Statute

(1) If the secretary of state determines that a recount is required for the office of United States senator, representative in congress, any state office or district office of state concern, any state ballot question, or any state ballot issue certified for the ballot by the secretary of state, the secretary of state shall order a complete recount of all the votes cast for that office, state ballot question, or state ballot issue no later than the thirtieth day after the election.

(2) The secretary of state shall notify the county clerk and recorder of each county involved by registered mail and facsimile transmission of a public recount to be conducted in the county at a place prescribed by the secretary of state. The recount shall be completed no later than the thirtieth day after any election. The secretary of state shall promulgate and provide each county clerk and recorder with the necessary rules and regulations to conduct the recount in a fair, impartial, and uniform manner, including provisions for watchers during the recount. Any rule or regulation concerning the conduct of a recount shall take into account the type of voting system and equipment used by the county in which the recount is to be conducted.

(3) (a) Prior to any recount, the canvass board shall choose at random and test voting devices used in the candidate race, ballot issue, or ballot question that is the subject of the recount. The board shall use the voting devices it has selected to conduct a comparison of the machine count of the ballots counted on each such voting device for the candidate race, ballot issue, or ballot question to the corresponding manual count of:

(I) In the case of an election taking place in a county prior to the date the county has satisfied the requirements of section 1-5-802, the ballots; or

(II) For an election taking place in a county on or after the date the county has satisfied the requirements of section 1-5-802, the voter-verified paper records.

(b) If the results of the comparison of the machine count and the manual count in accordance with the requirements of subparagraph (I) or (II) of paragraph (a) of this subsection (3) are identical, or if any discrepancy is able to be accounted for by voter error, then the recount may be conducted in the same manner as the original ballot count. If the results of the comparison of the machine count and the manual count in accordance with the requirements of subparagraph (I) or (II) of paragraph (a) of this subsection (3) are not identical, or if any discrepancy is not able to be accounted for by voter error, a presumption shall be created that the voter-verified paper records will be used for a final determination unless evidence exists that the integrity of the voter-verified paper records has been irrevocably compromised. The secretary of state shall decide which method of recount is used in each case, based on the secretary’s determination of which method will ensure the most accurate count, subject to judicial review for abuse of discretion. Nothing in this subsection (3) shall be construed to limit any person from pursuing any applicable legal remedy otherwise provided by law.

(c) The secretary of state shall promulgate such rules, in accordance with article 4 of title 24, C.R.S., as may be necessary to administer and enforce any requirement of this section, including any rules necessary to provide guidance to the counties in conducting the test of voting devices for the recount required by paragraph (a) of this subsection (3). The rules shall account for:

(I) The number of ballots cast in the candidate race, ballot issue, or ballot question that is the subject of the recount;

(II) An audit of each type of voting device utilized by the county in the candidate race, ballot issue, or ballot question that is the subject of the recount; and

(III) The confidentiality of the ballots cast by the electors in the candidate race, ballot issue, or ballot question that is the subject of the recount.

 

Source: L. 99: Entire article added with relocations, p. 484, § 13, effective July 1.L. 2001: (2) amended, p. 300, § 1, effective August 8.L. 2002: (1) and (2) amended, p. 1638, § 28, effective June 7.L. 2005: (2) and (3) amended, p. 1423, § 51, effective June 6; (2) and (3) amended, p. 1458, § 51, effective June 6.L. 2012: (1) amended, (HB 12-1292), ch. 181, p. 688, § 40, effective May 17.

Editor’s note: This section is similar to former § 1-10-301 as it existed prior to 1999.

Annotation: June 16, 2016 7:45 pm

“Voting system” as defined in section 1-1-104(50.8), C.R.S., means:
(a) The total combination of mechanical, electromechanical, or electronic equipment (including the software, firmware, and documentation required to program, control, and support the equipment) that is used to:
(1)Define ballots;
(2) Cast and count votes;
(3) Report or display election results; and
(4) Maintain and produce any audit trail information.
(b) The practices and associated documentation used to:
(1) Identify system components and versions of such components;
(2) Test the system during its development and maintenance;
(3) Maintain records of system errors and defects;
(4)Determine specific system changes to be made to a system after the initial qualification of the system; and
(5) Make available any materials to the voter (such as notices, instructions, forms, or paper ballots).
(c) “Voting system” does not include any other component of election administration, such as voter registration applications or systems, electronic pollbooks, ballot delivery and retrieval systems, signature verification and envelope sorting devices, ballot on demand printers, election night reporting and other election reporting systems, and other components used throughout the election process that do not capture and tabulate votes.

Definition [United States]

Used in the territorial sense, means the several states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, and any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. C.R.S. § 1-8.3-102.

Definition [State]

A state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. C.R.S. § 1-8.3-102.

Definition [Ballot]

(a) A federal write-in absentee ballot;

(b) A ballot specifically prepared or distributed for use by a covered voter in accordance with this article; or

(c) A ballot cast by a covered voter in accordance with this article.

(2) “Covered voter” means:

(a) A uniformed-service voter defined in paragraph (a) of subsection (9) of this section who is a resident of this state but who is absent from this state by reason of active duty and who otherwise satisfies this state’s voter eligibility requirements;

(b) An overseas voter who, before leaving the United States, was last eligible to vote in this state and, except for a state residency requirement, otherwise satisfies this state’s voter eligibility requirements;

(c) An overseas voter who, before leaving the United States, would have been last eligible to vote in this state had the voter then been of voting age and, except for a state residency requirement, otherwise satisfies this state’s voter eligibility requirements; or

(d) An overseas voter who was born outside the United States, is not described in paragraph (b) or (c) of this subsection (2), and, except for a state residency requirement, otherwise satisfies this state’s voter eligibility requirements if the last place where a parent, legal guardian, spouse, or civil union partner of the voter was, or under this article would have been, eligible to vote before leaving the United States is within this state.

C.R.S. § 1-8.3-102.

Definition [Person]

Any natural person, partnership, committee, association, corporation, labor organization, political party, or other organization or group of persons. Section 2(11) of article XXVIII of the state constitution.

Definition [Election]

Any election under the “Uniform Election Code of 1992” or the “Colorado Municipal Election Code of 1965”, article 10 of title 31, C.R.S. C.R.S. § 1-7.5-103.

Definition [Secretary]

The Colorado secretary of state. C.R.S. § 1-1.5-102.

Definition [Candidate]

Any person who seeks nomination or election to any state or local public office that is to be voted on in this state at any primary election, general election, school district election, special district election, or municipal election. “Candidate” also includes a judge or justice of any court of record who seeks to be retained in office pursuant to the provisions of section 25 of article VI. A person is a candidate for election if the person has publicly announced an intention to seek election to public office or retention of a judicial office and thereafter has received a contribution or made an expenditure in support of the candidacy. A person remains a candidate for purposes of this article so long as the candidate maintains a registered candidate committee. A person who maintains a candidate committee after an election cycle, but who has not publicly announced an intention to seek election to public office in the next or any subsequent election cycle, is a candidate for purposes of this article. Section 2(2) of article XXVIII of the state constitution.

Regulations & Guidance

Additional Resources

Election Recount Report