1-2-204. Questions answered by elector – rules
Overview of Statute
The county clerk and recorder must ask, and a voter must answer, the following questions: 1) whether voter intends to claim the listed address as the voter’s sole legal place of residence; 2) whether voter is aware that residency for purposes of voter registration also entails residency for motor vehicle registration and income tax; 3) whether voter is aware that he cannot vote in more than one place; and 4) whether voter is aware that violation of self-affirmation can result in criminal penalties.
In addition, voters must provide: 1) voter’s full name; 2) address for place of residence; 3) verification of United States citizenship; 3) gender (if voter wishes to provide this info); 4) date of birth; 5) deliverable mailing address if different than address for residence; 6) state driver’s license of identification card number (or last four digits of social security number if neither of these apply); 7) affirmation of inapplicability if voter does not have any of the listed items in Sec. 6 (state will issue a voter registration number); 8) whether voter is registered or has voted in another county; 9) party affiliation if desiring to affiliate with a political party (will be identified as “unaffiliated” if no preference stated); 10) whether county clerk and recorder can send mail to listed deliverable mailing address; and 11) attestation of accuracy of all information. County clerk and recorder must defer any suspicion of fraudalaunt information to the district attorney.
(1) The county clerk and recorder shall ask each eligible elector making application for registration, and the elector shall answer, the following:
(a) Whether the elector intends to claim the elector’s present address as the elector’s sole legal place of residence and, in so doing, to abandon claim to any other legal residence;
(b) Whether the elector is aware that, if the elector is a resident of this state for voting purposes, the elector is also a resident of this state for motor vehicle registration and operation purposes and for income tax purposes;
(c) Whether the elector is aware that the elector cannot legally vote in more than one place in any election; and
(d) Whether the elector is aware that a violation of the self-affirmation the elector is about to make is a criminal act under the laws of this state and will subject the elector to the penalties provided by law.
(2) In addition, each eligible elector shall be asked, and the elector shall correctly answer, the following:
(a) The elector’s name in full;
(b) The elector’s place of residence, including municipal address with street number or, if there is no street number, by legal description of the land upon which the residence sits, including lot, block, addition, division, or subdivision, as applicable. In all other cases, the residence shall be described by the section or subdivision in the township and range as established and numbered by the United States government survey. If the place of residence is an apartment house, rooming house, dormitory, hotel, or motel, the number of the floor and the number of the apartment or room shall also be given. No vacant lot or business address shall be considered a residence. A post office box number shall not be used as a place of residence for the purposes of this subsection (2).
(c) Whether the elector is a citizen of the United States;
(d) The elector’s gender, if the elector wishes to state it;
(e) The elector’s date of birth;
(f) The elector’s deliverable mailing address if different from the elector’s address of record;
(f.5) In the case of an elector who has been issued a current and valid Colorado driver’s license, the elector’s Colorado driver’s license number. If, instead of a driver’s license, the elector has been issued a current and valid identification card by the department of revenue in accordance with part 3 of article 2 of title 42, C.R.S., the elector shall provide the number of the identification card. If the elector has not been issued a current and valid Colorado driver’s license or identification card, the elector shall answer that he or she does not have a driver’s license or identification card and shall provide the last four digits of the elector’s social security number. If the elector does not have a social security number, the elector shall answer that he or she does not have a social security number.
(h) Whether or not the elector is registered to vote in another county of this state;
(i) Whether or not the elector has voted or was registered to vote in another county of this state or in another state;
(j) The elector’s affiliation, if any, if the eligible elector desires to affiliate with any political party or political organization. If this question is not answered, the elector shall be registered as “unaffiliated”. Only the eligible elector personally shall declare the eligible elector’s affiliation.
(k) Whether any communication by mail from the county clerk and recorder to such eligible elector, including a confirmation card provided pursuant to section 1-2-605, should be sent to the elector’s deliverable mailing address;
(l) The question “Do you affirm that you meet the voter registration qualifications and that the information you have provided in this application is true to the best of your knowledge and belief?”.
(2.5) If an applicant for voter registration has not been issued a current and valid Colorado driver’s license, a current and valid identification card issued by the department of revenue in accordance with the requirements of part 3 of article 2 of title 42, C.R.S., or a social security number, the secretary of state shall assign the applicant a number that will serve to identify the applicant for voter registration purposes. Insofar as the department of state has created a computerized statewide voter registration list in accordance with the requirements of part 3 of this article and the list assigns unique identifying numbers to registrants, the number assigned under this subsection (2.5) shall be the unique identifying number assigned under the list.
(2.7) The form used for registration of electors shall contain a statement that the applicant must comply with the requirements of paragraph (f.5) of subsection (2) of this section, that an applicant who is qualified to vote in this state but does not have a driver’s license, state-issued identification card, or social security number may still register to vote, and that the secretary of state will assign an identifying number to such an applicant for voter registration purposes.
(3) (a) If the county clerk and recorder has reasonable cause to believe that an applicant has falsified any answers to the questions set forth in this section, the county clerk and recorder shall certify the same to the district attorney for investigation and appropriate action.
(b) If the elector states that the elector’s present address is the elector’s sole legal residence and that the elector claims no other place as the elector’s legal residence and if the elector meets the qualifications of section 1-2-101, the county clerk and recorder shall proceed to register the elector.
(c) If the elector does not comply with the requirements of subsections (1) and (2) of this section, the county clerk and recorder shall not register the elector.
(4) (a) If the registration record of a registered elector does not contain the last four digits of the elector’s social security number, the county clerk and recorder shall request the elector to provide the last four digits of the elector’s social security number. The request may be made of the registered elector by the county clerk and recorder:
(I) In any written communication by mail from the county clerk and recorder to the registered elector;
(II) At any voter service and polling center in the registered elector’s county;
(IV) In materials to be returned by the registered elector with a mail ballot.
(b) No registered elector shall be prohibited from voting at any election for failure to provide the last four digits of the elector’s social security number or the elector’s full social security number.
(c) Any social security number or the last four digits of a social security number of an elector that is obtained by the county clerk and recorder from such elector pursuant to this section shall be held confidential and shall not be published or be open to or available for public inspection. The county clerk and recorder shall develop appropriate security measures to ensure the confidentiality of such numbers.
(d) The last four digits of a social security number described in this section shall not be considered a social security number for purposes of section 7 of the federal “Privacy Act of 1974”, Pub.L. 93-579.
(5) The secretary of state shall promulgate rules in accordance with article 4 of title 24, C.R.S., as may be necessary to determine the identity of a resident of a group residential facility, as defined in section 1-1-104 (18.5), and any rules necessary to ensure the consistent application of such identification rules.
Source: L. 92: Entire article R&RE, p. 641, § 2, effective January 1, 1993.L. 93: (2)(j) amended, p. 1398, § 16, effective July 1.L. 94: (1)(d) amended, p. 1753, § 9, effective January 1, 1995.L. 95: (2)(f) amended, p. 822, § 8, effective July 1.L. 97: (2)(i) amended, p. 472, § 4, effective July 1.L. 98: (2)(f.5) and (4) added and (2)(g) amended, p. 279, § § 1, 2, effective April 14.L. 99: (2)(f) amended and (2)(k) added, p. 279, § 3, effective August 4; (2)(j) amended, p. 158, § 2, effective August 4.L. 2003: (2)(f.5) amended and (2.5) added, p. 2072, § 8, effective May 22.L. 2004: (2)(c), (2)(d), and (2)(f.5) amended, p. 426, § 2, effective April 13; (2)(f.5), IP(4)(a), (4)(a)(I), and (4)(b) amended and (4)(d) added, p. 1051, § 2, effective May 21.L. 2006: (2)(f.5) amended and (2.7) and (3)(c) added, pp. 2028, 2029, § § 1, 2, effective June 6.L. 2007: (4)(a)(IV) amended, p. 1775, § 2, effective June 1; (2)(f.5) amended, p. 1968, § 4, effective August 3.L. 2009: (5) added, (HB 09-1336), ch. 261, p. 1198, § 5, effective August 5.L. 2012: (2)(d) amended, (HB 12-1292), ch. 181, p. 677, § 3, effective May 17.L. 2013: (2)(g) and (4)(a)(III) repealed, (2)(k), IP(4)(a), (4)(a)(II), and (4)(a)(IV) amended, and (2)(l) added, (HB 13-1303), ch. 185, p. 690, § 11, effective May 10.
Cross references: In 2013, subsections (2)(g) and (4)(a)(III) were repealed, subsection (2)(k), the introductory portion to subsection (4)(a), and subsections (4)(a)(II) and (4)(a)(IV) were amended, and subsection (2)(l) was added 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.
Annotator’s note. The following annotations include cases decided under former provisions similar to this section.
Provisions not mandatory. To treat all of the provisions of this statute as mandatory so as to deprive those who attempt to register would provide an unequal application of the statute and an inconsistency not warranted by any express language in the enactment. Meyer v. Putnam, 186 Colo. 132, 526 P.2d 139 (1974).
Obtaining social security numbers from vast majority of voters is only directory. Meyer v. Putnam, 186 Colo. 132, 526 P.2d 139 (1974).
Supporters of minor parties must be allowed to designate that support on voter registration forms. The refusal to permit such designation unnecessarily burdens the opportunity of the citizen and his party to promote their minority interests. Baer v. Meyer, 577 F. Supp. 838 (D. Colo. 1984), aff’d in part and rev’d in part on other grounds, 728 F.2d 471 (10th Cir. 1984).
But party designation need only be permitted if a political organization already exists in the state under its name, has recognized officials, and has previously placed a candidate on the ballot by petition. Baer v. Meyer, 728 F.2d 471 (10th Cir. 1984).
- Voter Registration
1. Definition for 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.
2. Definition for Political party
Any group of registered electors who, by petition or assembly, nominate candidates for the official general election ballot. “Political party” includes affiliated party organizations at the state, county, and election district levels, and all such affiliates are considered to be a single entity for the purposes of this article, except as otherwise provided in section 7. Section 2(13) of article XXVIII of the state constitution.
3. Definition for Political organization
Any group of registered electors who, by petition for nomination of an unaffiliated candidate as provided in section 1-4-802, places upon the official general election ballot nominees for public office. C.R.S. § 1-1-104.
Alternate Meaning for Art. 45:
A political organization defined in section 527 (e) (1) of the federal “Internal Revenue Code of 1986”, as amended, that is engaged in influencing or attempting to influence the selection, nomination, election, or appointment of any individual to any state or local public office in the state and that is exempt, or intends to seek any exemption, from taxation pursuant to section 527 of the internal revenue code. “Political organization” shall not be construed to have the same meaning as “political organization” as defined in section 1-1-104 (24) for purposes of the “Uniform Election Code of 1992”, articles 1 to 13 of this title.
C.R.S. § 1-45-103
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. Definition for Secretary
The Colorado secretary of state. C.R.S. § 1-1.5-102.
9. Definition for 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.
Case Name: Meyer v. Putnam
Citation: 526 P.2d 139
Case Summary: Striking down a statute that required providing a social security number when registering to vote. The requirement did not adequately protect against voter fraud.
Case Name: Baer v. Meyer
Citation: 728 F.2d 471 (10th Cir. 1984)
Federal Circuit Court: 10th Circuit Court
Case Summary: Holding that statute distinguishing between political parties and organizations by allowing voter registrants to indicate only their affiliations with parties unnecessarily burdened minority interests, but that distinguishing between parties and organizations by allowing only parties to have poll watchers was constitutional.