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colorado > Colorado Electoral Code > Certificates of Election And Election Contests

1-11-208. Contests for state senator or representative

Overview of Statute

Any eligible elector in the represented district may contest the election of a state senator or member of the state house of representatives, and each house of the general assembly will adjudicate contests involving its own members. Affected houses of the general assembly must certify questions asked with the office of administrative courts for referral to an administrative law judge.[1] Within ten days after the completion of the official abstract of votes cast, the contestor must file a verified statement of intention with the secretary of state that includes the contestor’s name, verification of voting eligibility, contestee’s name, office being contested, time of the election, and ground of the contest. The contestor must serve the statement on the contestee and also post a bond, with sureties, approved as sufficient by the secretary of state that guarantees payment of all costs to the contestee if the contest fails.

In response, the contestee within ten days after receiving service of process must file a duly-verified answer with the secretary of state that either admits or denies each asserted allegation. The answer must also include any counterstatements that the contestee believes will entitle him or her to retain the seat in the general assembly. The contestee must also serve the answer on the contestor. Within ten days of receiving the answer, the contestor must file a reply to the counterstatements with the secretary of state that either admits or denies under oath each allegation. This reply must also be served on the contestee.

[1] C.R.S. § 1-11-208.5: provides the procedure for certifying questions

Statute

(1) The election of any person as a state senator or a member of the state house of representatives may be contested by any eligible elector of the district to be represented by the senator or representative. Each house of the general assembly shall hear and determine election contests of its own members. In furtherance of resolving such a contest, the house of the general assembly before which any contest is to be tried shall certify questions pursuant to section 1-11-208.5 to the office of administrative courts for referral to an administrative law judge.

(2) The contestor, within ten days after the completion of the official abstract of votes cast, shall file in the office of the secretary of state a verified statement of intention to contest the election, setting forth the name of the contestor, that the contestor is an eligible elector of the district, the name of the contestee, the office being contested, the time of the election, and the particular grounds for the contest, and shall serve a copy upon the contestee. The contestor shall file with the secretary of state a bond, with sureties, running to the contestee and conditioned to pay all costs in case of failure to maintain the contest. The secretary of state shall determine the sufficiency of the bond, and, if it is sufficient, approve it.

(3) The contestee, within ten days after personal service of the statement, shall file in the office of the secretary of state an answer, duly verified, admitting or specifically denying each allegation and containing any new matter or counterstatement which the contestee believes may entitle him or her to retain the seat in the general assembly to which elected. The contestee shall serve a copy upon the contestor.

(4) When the answer of the contestee contains new matter constituting a counterstatement, the contestor, within ten days after the service of the answer, shall file in the office of the secretary of state a reply admitting or specifically denying under oath each allegation contained in the counterstatement, and shall serve a copy upon the contestee.

 

 

Source: L. 92: Entire article R&RE, p. 788, § 14, effective January 1, 1993.L. 99: (1) amended, p. 1384, § 2, effective June 4; (2) amended, p. 491, § 20, effective July 1.L. 2005: (1) amended, p. 852, § 5, effective June 1.

Editor’s note: This section is similar to former § 1-11-206 as it existed prior to 1992.
 
ANNOTATION

Authority of courts to determine election controversies when no candidate declared duly elected. State constitutional provisions and statutes permitting general assembly to judge election of members does not limit subject matter jurisdiction of district court to hear controversies related to elections where no candidate is yet declared duly elected by secretary of state. Meyer v. Lamm, 846 P.2d 862 (Colo. 1993) (decided under former law).
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 [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.

Cases

colorado Cases

Case Name: Meyer v. Lamm

Citation: 846 P.2d 862 (Colo. 1993)

Year: 1993

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/84d475c7b592fb3b88440cde1b77889f

Case Summary: Holding that substantial compliance with statutes governing write-in votes was the appropriate standard for a recount; ballots with candidate's surname but no first name, initial, or nickname could be counted; ballot with candidate's surname and incorrect first name or initial could not be counted; and write-in votes for candidate on lines other than those for state representative could not be counted.

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