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colorado > Colorado Electoral Code > Election Offenses

1-13-712. Disclosing or identifying vote

Statute

(1) Except as provided in section 1-7-108, no voter shall show his ballot after it is prepared for voting to any person in such a way as to reveal its contents. No voter shall place any mark upon his ballot by means of which it can be identified as the one voted by him, and no other mark shall be placed on the ballot by any person to identify it after it has been prepared for voting.

(2) No person shall endeavor to induce any voter to show how he marked his ballot.

(3) No election official, watcher, or person shall reveal to any other person the name of any candidate for whom a voter has voted or communicate to another his opinion, belief, or impression as to how or for whom a voter has voted.

(4) Any person who violates any provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as provided in section 1-13-111.

 

Source: L. 80: Entire article R&RE, p. 434, § 1, effective January 1, 1981.

Editor’s note: The provisions of this section are similar to provisions of several former sections as they existed prior to 1980. For a detailed comparison, see the comparative tables located in the back of the index.
Annotation: November 7, 2016 3:34 am

In Oct. of 2016, a Denver DA warned voters that this statute would also prohibit ballot selfies (posting your completed ballot on social media). This prompted a lawsuit challenging the statute on First Amendment grounds. A federal district court, on Nov. 4, 2016, noted that the statute “implicates a most fundamental exercise of the First Amendment right to speak in and about our elections” and enjoined the DA and the Colorado AG from enforcing the statute by prosecuting, referring to prosecution, and/or investigating violations thereof or by instructing any person to remove from publication any photo or image of that person’s voted ballot, unless such violations or publication is in connection with violations of other criminal laws. For commentary and a link to the court’s opinion, see http://electionlawblog.org/?p=88791.

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 [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.