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Colorado > Colorado Electoral Code > Qualifications And Registration Of Electors

1-2-101. Qualifications for registration – preregistration

Overview of Statute

United States citizens who will be eighteen years or older on the date of the next election, and have lived in the state for at least twenty-two days immediately prior to the election, may register to vote. Those over sixteen, who will not be eighteen on the date of the next election, may preregister to vote. Upon turning eighteen, the preregistration will automatically register the individual. A preregistered individual may update information provided in the same manner as a registered voter.

Statute

(1) Every person who is eighteen years of age or older on the date of the next election and who has the following qualifications is entitled to register to vote at all elections:

(a) The person is a citizen of the United States; and

(b) The person has resided in this state twenty-two days immediately prior to the election at which the person intends to vote.

(2) (a) (I) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, upon satisfactory proof of age, every person who is otherwise qualified to register and is sixteen years of age or older but will not have reached eighteen years of age by the date of the next election may preregister and update his or her preregistered information by any means authorized in this article for persons eighteen years of age or older. Upon reaching eighteen years of age, the person is automatically registered.

(II) Repealed.

(b) The registration requirements of section 1-2-201 apply to a person preregistering to vote under this subsection (2).

 

Source: L. 92: Entire article R&RE, p. 636, § 2, effective January 1, 1993.L. 93: (1)(b) amended, p. 1397, § 13, effective July 1.L. 94: (1)(b) amended, p. 1751, § 4, effective January 1, 1995.L. 95: (1)(b) amended, p. 821, § 5, effective July 1.L. 96: (1)(b) amended, p. 1734, § 7, effective July 1.L. 2013: (1)(b) amended, (HB 13-1303), ch. 185, p. 687, § 6, effective May 10; (2) added, (HB 13-1135), ch. 184, p. 677, § 1, effective August 7.

 

Editor’s note: Articles 1 to 13 were numbered as articles 1, 3, 4, 9 to 19, and 21 of chapter 49, C.R.S. 1963. The substantive provisions of these articles were repealed and reenacted in 1980, resulting in the addition, relocation, and elimination of sections as well as subject matter. For amendments to these articles prior to 1980, consult the Colorado statutory research explanatory note and the table itemizing the replacement volumes and supplements to the original volume of C.R.S. 1973 beginning on page vii in the front of this volume. Former C.R.S. numbers prior to 1980 are shown in editor’s notes following those sections that were relocated. For a detailed comparison of these articles for 1980, see the comparative tables located in the back of the index.

Cross references: For school elections, see articles 30, 31, and 42 of title 22; for elections for removal of county seats, see article 8 of title 30; for municipal elections, see article 10 of title 31; for special district elections, see part 8 of article 1 of title 32; for exemption of certain statutory proceedings from the rules of civil procedure, see C.R.C.P. 81; for recall from office, see article XXI of the state constitution; for recall of state and county officers, see part 1 of article 12 of this title; for recall of municipal officers, see part 5 of article 4 of title 31; for recall of directors of special districts, see § § 32-1-906, 32-1-907.


Editor’s note: Articles 1 to 13 were repealed and reenacted in 1980, and this article was subsequently repealed and reenacted in 1992, resulting in the addition, relocation, and elimination of sections as well as subject matter. For amendments to this article prior to 1992, consult the Colorado statutory research explanatory note and the table itemizing the replacement volumes and supplements to the original volume of C.R.S. 1973 beginning on page vii in the front of this volume and the editor’s note following the title heading. Former C.R.S. section numbers are shown in editor’s notes following those sections that were relocated in 1992. For a detailed comparison of this article for 1980 and 1992, see the comparative tables located in the back of the index.

Cross references: For election offenses relating to qualifications and registration of electors, see part 2 of article 13 of this title.

Editor’s note: (1) This section is similar to former § 1-2-101 as it existed prior to 1992.

(2) Subsection (2)(a)(II)(B) provided for the repeal of subsection (2)(a)(II), effective July 1, 2014. (See L. 2013, p. 677.)

Cross references: (1) For qualifications of electors, see also § 1 of art. VII, Colo. Const.; for voting age for electors, see § 1 of art. VII, Colo. Const., and article XXVI of the Constitution of the United States; for registration of citizens residing outside the United States, see article 8.3 of this title; for offenses relating to unlawful qualification as a taxpaying elector, see § 1-13-202.

(2) In 2013, subsection (1)(b) was amended by the “Voter Access and Modernized Elections Act”. For the short title and the legislative declaration, see sections 1 and 2 of chapter 185, Session Laws of Colorado 2013.
 
ANNOTATION
 
I. General Consideration.
II. Residency.
 
I.GENERAL CONSIDERATION.

Law reviews. For comment on Porter v. Johnson appearing below, see 2 Rocky Mt. L. Rev. 131 (1930).

Annotator’s note. The following annotations include cases decided under former provisions similar to this section.

The state has the power to prescribe reasonable and nondiscriminatory qualifications for voting in federal as well as state elections. Hall v. Beals, 292 F. Supp. 610 (D. Colo. 1968), vacated as moot, 396 U.S. 45, 90 S. Ct. 200, 24 L. Ed. 2d 214 (1969).

And requirements as to the qualifications of electors are mandatory, and must be strictly observed. Jain v. Bossen, 27 Colo. 423, 62 P. 194 (1900); People v. Turpin, 49 Colo. 234, 112 P. 539 (1910); City of Montrose v. Niles, 124 Colo. 535, 238 P.2d 875 (1951).

This section provides the necessary qualifications for a voter and elector. Cox v. Starkweather, 128 Colo. 89, 260 P.2d 587 (1953).

After an elector demonstrates those qualifications, the election code directs that he “shall” be registered and permitted to vote. Sheldon v. Moffat Tunnel Comm’n, 335 F. Supp. 251 (D. Colo. 1971).

Unsworn declarations of a voter are inadmissible to impeach his qualifications as an elector, Sharp v. McIntire, 23 Colo. 99, 46 P. 115 (1896).

However, when such declarations are made prior or subsequent to the time of voting they are admissible to impeach the voter’s qualifications when made concurrently with the act of voting in the presence of the judges of the election. Sharp v. McIntire, 23 Colo. 99, 46 P. 115 (1896).

Statutes prohibiting permanent resident aliens from voting in school elections, which incorporate the substantive and procedural requirements concerning general elections into school elections, are constitutional. Skafte v. Rorex, 191 Colo. 399, 553 P.2d 830 (1976), appeal dismissed, 430 U.S. 961, 97 S. Ct. 1638, 52 L. Ed. 2d 352 (1977).

Applied in Hesseltine v. United States, 538 F. Supp. 1003 (D. Colo. 1982).
 
II.RESIDENCY.

An essential qualification of a voter is that he shall have resided in the state, county, and ward or precinct for the required time immediately preceding the election at which he offers to vote. Sharp v. McIntire, 23 Colo. 99, 46 P. 115 (1896).

The state may require its voters to be residents. Jarmel v. Putnam, 179 Colo. 215, 499 P.2d 603 (1972).

The purposes of residency requirements are: (1) To preserve the purity of elections, and (2) To prevent the control of state affairs by persons who have no pecuniary interest in them. Hall v. Beals, 292 F. Supp. 610 (D. Colo. 1968), vacated as moot, 396 U.S. 45, 90 S. Ct. 200, 24 L. Ed. 2d 214 (1969).

Thus the status of transient is not that of residency. Jarmel v. Putnam, 179 Colo. 215, 499 P.2d 603 (1972).

As some time limit must be set for determining who is and who is not a resident for the purposes of voting, not only to preserve the purity of the election, but also for administrative reasons. Hall v. Beals, 292 F. Supp. 610 (D. Colo. 1968), vacated as moot, 396 U.S. 45, 90 S. Ct. 200, 24 L. Ed. 2d 214 (1969).

Moreover, a federal court cannot substitute personal views of what time limit would accomplish the objectives of a residency requirement for the judgment of the Colorado general assembly in the absence of a showing of unreasonable discrimination. Hall v. Beals, 292 F. Supp. 610 (D. Colo. 1968), vacated as moot, 396 U.S. 45, 90 S. Ct. 200, 24 L. Ed. 2d 214 (1969).

But previous section’s requirement of three months durational residency as condition of right to vote held unconstitutional. Jarmel v. Putnam, 179 Colo. 215, 499 P.2d 603 (1972).

Test of residency after elector moves from precinct. The following inquiry is required to be undertaken if an elector has moved outside the boundaries of his voting precinct and wishes to retain his right to vote within the precinct: (1) Had the elector established his principal or primary home or place of abode within the election precinct? and (2) was the individual’s departure taken or does his absence continue with a present intention of returning to the precinct in the future? Gordon v. Blackburn, 618 P.2d 668 (Colo. 1980).

Intent to keep legal residence central factor. Once a person’s legal residence has been established, his intent to keep it becomes the central factor in determining whether it continues. Gordon v. Blackburn, 618 P.2d 668 (Colo. 1980).

But mere intention without other indicia not enough. The mere intention to return to a former abode at some more or less indefinite time, with no other indicia of a home or domicile, may not fulfill the usual requirements of legal residence for voting purposes. Gordon v. Blackburn, 618 P.2d 668 (Colo. 1980).

Evidence supported conclusion that school teachers had moved to the town with intention of establishing permanent residence. Porter v. Johnson, 85 Colo. 440, 276 P. 333 (1929).
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 [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.

Cases

Colorado Cases

Out-of-State Cases

Case State: colorado

Case Name: Jain v. Bossen

Citation: 62 P. 194

Year: 1900

Case Summary: Finding that 4 of the 26 voters the county court accepted were qualified to vote and that contest who won election for office of trustee was qualified to be elected as he intended to and did change his domicile to the town.

Case State: colorado

Case Name: People v. Turpin

Citation: 112 P. 539

Year: 1910

Case PDF: People v. Turpin

Case Summary: Concluding that because two voters were not entitled to vote, the trial court erred in not requiring them to testify as to how they voted and noting that the law protecting secrecy of the ballot was only intended for lawful voters and did not protect illegal voters.

Case State: colorado

Case Name: City of Montrose v. Niles

Citation: 238 P.2d 875 (Colo. 1951)

Year: 1951

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/1c91d50fbc773340ec2682a8d674f22f

Case Summary: Holding that an automobile owner who had paid the ownership tax on the automobile was not a taxpaying elector and therefore not entitled to vote in municipal bond election.

Case State: colorado

Case Name: Cox v. Starkweather

Citation: 260 P.2d 587 (Colo. 1953)

Year: 1953

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/05c8192e8d9120f4659cfda909bef815

Case Summary: Upholding the election of an eligible candidate for county commissioner, despite not being a qualified elector in the district where elected.

Case State: colorado

Case Name: Sharp v. McIntire

Citation: 46 P. 115

Year: 1896

Case PDF: Sharp v. McIntire

Case Summary: Holding that voters were ineligible because they were in Colorado merely for a business purpose and they made their home in another state.

Case State: colorado

Case Name: Jarmel v. Putnam

Citation: 179 Colo. 215, 499 P.2d 603 (1972)

Year: 1972

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/41b5124eb0cfe58973696db2e60b5ebe

Case Summary: Holding that constitutional article and statute attempting to establish three months durational residency as a condition of the right to vote in nonpresidential elections were unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Case State: colorado

Case Name: Gordon v. Blackburn

Citation: 618 P.2d 668

Year: 1980

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/d0743959e3a4bcb002d928d2552726ac

Case Summary: Holding that electors who cast two contested votes for mayoral candidate did not do so illegally on the ground that they were not “residents” of municipality where there was substantial evidence that the electors had established their principal or primary home in that municipality for over eight and one-half years; during such time they considered themselves and were treated by others as residents; their business operation and self-employment were located within the municipality; their marital status was continuous and localized in the municipality; they owned and continued to own real property within the municipality; and they did not otherwise plan to establish an official place of residence elsewhere even though they did not own, rent, or occupy any dwelling within city limits at the time of the election.

Case State: colorado

Case Name: Porter v. Johnson

Citation: 276 P. 333

Year: 1929

Case Summary: Affirming the trial court's conclusion that teachers moved into town with the intention of establishing a permanent residence.

Federal Cases

Case Name: Hall v. Beals

Citation: 396 U.S. 45

Federal District Court: District of Colorado

Year: 1969

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/37850b53a3c1b4a0d3709e52f3ca20c4?query=hall%20[...]

Case Summary: Holding that plaintiffs who were precluded from voting in the 1968 presidential election by Colorado statutes imposing a six-month residency requirement, but who could have voted in 1968 election under the statute as amended after the election, were no longer members of a class of disenfranchised voters and could not represent the class, and dismissing the action to enjoin the enforcement of the statute as moot.

Case Name: Sheldon v. Moffat Tunnel Comm’n

Citation: 335 F. Supp. 251 (D. Colo. 1971)

Federal District Court: District of Colorado

Year: 1971

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/6961b1011060025669bd5c2a25a73a77

Case Summary: Striking down a statute that limited franchise in an election for tunnel commissioners to citizens who paid property taxes. Court held that statute violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Effected voters were otherwise eligible electors in the state.

Regulations & Guidance

Amendment to Statute