1-2-201. Registration required – deadlines
Overview of Statute
Individuals must register prior to voting. Voter registration includes signing, or making a personal mark if unable to write, on the registration record, answering the questions outlined by C.R.S.A. § 1–2–204, and completing the self-affirmation required by C.R.S.A. § 1–2–205. Deadlines vary depending on the method for registration. Individuals must register at least twenty-two days prior to an election if registering at a voter registration drive, but individuals can register at any point prior to eight days before an election if registering by mail, voter registration agency, local driver’s license examination facility, or online through the voter registration system established by C.R.S.A. § 1–2–202.5(7)(c). Deadlines that fall on the weekend or a holiday will be moved to the next business day. Individuals registering in-person at either the elector’s county clerk and recorder’s office or at a polling station may register on election day. Individuals voting by mail must register at least eight days prior to an election in order to receive a ballot.
(1) No person shall be permitted to cast a regular ballot at any election without first having been registered within the time and in the manner required by the provisions of this article. No charge shall be made for registration.
(2) Each elector registering shall sign his or her name on the registration record or, if unable to write, shall make a personal mark or be provided assistance to make such a mark by the county clerk and recorder or any other person authorized by the county clerk and recorder or the elector. The elector shall answer the questions required by section 1-2-204 and shall complete the self-affirmation required by section 1-2-205.
(3) (a) Any other provisions of this title to the contrary notwithstanding, an elector is permitted to vote in any primary, presidential, general, coordinated, special legislative, municipal, congressional vacancy, special district, or other election if he or she timely registers to vote before or on the date of such election.
(b) An elector may timely register to vote by:
(I) Submitting an application through a voter registration drive no later than twenty-two days before the election; except that, if the twenty-second day before an election is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the elector is permitted to register on the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday;
(II) Registering through a high school, in accordance with part 4 of this article 2;
(III) Submitting an application through the mail, a voter registration agency, a local driver’s license examination facility, or the on-line voter registration system established pursuant to section 1-2-202.5 (7) (c), through the eighth day prior to an election; except that, if the eighth day before an election is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the elector is permitted to register on the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday;
(IV) Appearing in-person at the elector’s county clerk and recorder’s office at any time during which registration is permitted at the office; or
(V) Appearing in-person at a voter service and polling center pursuant to section 1-2-217.7 at any time during which the voter service and polling center is open, including on election day.
(4) To receive a ballot by mail for an election conducted under this code, an elector must submit his or her voter registration application on or before the eighth day before the election.
Source: L. 92: Entire article R&RE, p. 638, § 2, effective January 1, 1993.L. 94: (2) amended, p. 1752, § 7, effective January 1, 1995.L. 96: (2) amended and (3) added, p. 1735, § § 10, 11, effective July 1.L. 97: (3) amended, p. 471, § 2, effective July 1.L. 99: (3) amended, p. 757, § 4, effective May 20; (3) amended, p. 1389, § 6, effective June 4.L. 2005: (1) amended, p. 1395, § 6, effective June 6; (1) amended, p. 1430, § 6, effective June 6.L. 2013: (3) amended, (HB 13-1303), ch. 185, p. 688, § 8, effective May 10.L. 2014: (3)(b)(I) and (3)(b)(III) amended and (4) added, (SB 14-161), ch. 160, p. 556, § 3, effective May 9.
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 § 1-2-201 as it existed prior to 1992.
(2) In 1996, § 1-1-114 was relocated to subsection (3).
(3) Amendments to subsection (3) by Senate Bill 99-025 and House Bill 99-1097 were harmonized.
Cross references: (1) For eligibility of nonresident citizens to vote, see article 8.3 of this title; for emergency registration in certain cases of change of residence, see § 1-2-217.5; for challenge of registration, see § 1-9-101. For offenses relating to registration, see § § 1-13-201 and 1-13-203 to 1-13-205.
(2) In 2013, subsection (3) 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.
Law reviews. For note, “Purged Voter Lists”, see 44 Den. L.J. 279 (1967).
Annotator’s note. The following annotations include cases decided under former provisions similar to this section.
Registration precedes an election and is a distinct subject of legislation. Aichele v. People ex rel. Lowry, 40 Colo. 482, 90 P. 1122 (1907).
Therefore, jurisdiction of the courts to protect registration books from padding is something distinct from jurisdiction of the conduct of an election on the day when voting takes place. Aichele v. People ex rel. Lowry, 40 Colo. 482, 90 P. 1122 (1907).
Registration laws to be construed to effectuate constitutional requirement election purity. Since § 11 of art. VII, Colo. Const., requires the general assembly “to pass laws to secure the purity of elections”, registration laws enacted in compliance with this requirement should be construed to effectuate the intent and purpose of the constitutional requirement. People ex rel. Johnson v. Earl, 42 Colo. 238, 94 P. 294 (1908).
Section held not to apply to school elections. Guyer v. Stutt, 68 Colo. 422, 191 P. 120 (1920).
1. Definition for Election day
The date either established by law or determined by the governing body of the political subdivision conducting the election, to be the final day on which all ballots are determined to be due, and the date from which all other dates in this article are set.C.R.S. § 1-7.5-103.
2. Definition for 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.
3. Definition for 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.
4. Definition for 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.
5. Definition for 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.
Case Name: People ex rel. Johnson v. Earl
Citation: 42 Colo. 238, 94 P. 294 (1908)
Case PDF: People ex rel. Johnson v. Earl
Case Summary: Upholding an election result against citizens' lawsuit alleging improper registration process. So long as no qualified voter was denied access and no unqualified voter cast a ballot, a plaintiff will likely fail to maintain a cause of action protesting registration procedure.
Case Name: Guyer v. Stutt
Citation: 191 P. 120
Case PDF: Guyer v. Stutt
Case Summary: Holding that recall amendment applied only to state officers and that school directors were not state officers.
State Constitutional Provisions