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Colorado > Colorado Electoral Code > Initiative And Referendum

1-40-130. Unlawful acts – penalty

Statute

(1) It is unlawful:

(a) For any person willfully and knowingly to circulate or cause to be circulated or sign or procure to be signed any petition bearing the name, device, or motto of any person, organization, association, league, or political party, or purporting in any way to be endorsed, approved, or submitted by any person, organization, association, league, or political party, without the written consent, approval, and authorization of the person, organization, association, league, or political party;

(b) For any person to sign any name other than his or her own to any petition or knowingly to sign his or her name more than once for the same measure at one election;

(c) For any person to knowingly sign any petition who is not a registered elector at the time of signing the same;

(d) For any person to sign any affidavit as circulator without knowing or reasonably believing the statements made in the affidavit to be true;

(e) For any person to certify that an affidavit attached to a petition was subscribed or sworn to before him or her unless it was so subscribed and sworn to before him or her and unless the person so certifying is duly qualified under the laws of this state to administer an oath;

(f) For any officer or person to do willfully, or with another or others conspire, or agree, or confederate to do, any act which hinders, delays, or in any way interferes with the calling, holding, or conducting of any election permitted under the initiative and referendum powers reserved by the people in section 1 of article V of the state constitution or with the registering of electors therefor;

(g) For any officer to do willfully any act which shall confuse or tend to confuse the issues submitted or proposed to be submitted at any election, or refuse to submit any petition in the form presented for submission at any election;

(h) For any officer or person to violate willfully any provision of this article;

(i) For any person to pay money or other things of value to a registered elector for the purpose of inducing the elector to withdraw his or her name from a petition for a ballot issue;

(j) For any person to certify an affidavit attached to a petition in violation of section 1-40-111 (2) (b) (I);

(k) For any person to sign any affidavit as a circulator, unless each signature in the petition section to which the affidavit is attached was affixed in the presence of the circulator;

(l) For any person to circulate in whole or in part a petition section, unless such person is the circulator who signs the affidavit attached to the petition section.

(2) Any person, upon conviction of a violation of any provision of this section, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand five hundred dollars, or by imprisonment for not more than one year in the county jail, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

 

 

Source: L. 93: Entire article amended with relocations, p. 694, § 1, effective May 4.L. 2009: (1)(h) and (2) amended and (1)(i), (1)(j), (1)(k), and (1)(l) added, (HB 09-1326), ch. 258, p. 1178, § 16, effective May 15.

 

Editor’s note: Subsection (1) is similar to former § 1-40-118 (2), and subsection (2) is similar to former § 1-40-118 (3), as they existed prior to 1993.
 
ANNOTATION

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

It is clear from the provisions of the initiative and referendum act and the penalties provided thereby that the general assembly has been careful and diligent to safeguard the primary right of the people to propose and enact their own legislation. City of Rocky Ford v. Brown, 133 Colo. 262, 293 P.2d 974 (1956).

And the initiative and referendum laws, when invoked by the people, supplant the city council or representative body. City of Rocky Ford v. Brown, 133 Colo. 262, 293 P.2d 974 (1956).

Because the people undertake to legislate for themselves. City of Rocky Ford v. Brown, 133 Colo. 262, 293 P.2d 974 (1956).

And the town or city clerk is required to perform certain statutory duties, in connection therewith, for failure of which he is subject to penalties. City of Rocky Ford v. Brown, 133 Colo. 262, 293 P.2d 974 (1956).

Definition [Circulated]

Presented to an elector for the collection of a signature and other information required by this article. C.R.S. § 1-12-100.5.

Definition [Circulator]

A person who presents to other persons for possible signature a petition for recall as described in this article. C.R.S. § 1-12-100.5.

Definition [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.

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 [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.

Cases

Colorado Cases

Out-of-State Cases

Case State: colorado

Case Name: City of Rocky Ford v. Brown

Citation: 293 P.2d 974 (Colo. 1956)

Year: 1956

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/bbcc15cb8984dcef5befc0d64f5485dc

Case Summary:

  1. Neither this, nor any other court, may be called upon to construe or pass upon a legislative act until it has been adopted. The only exception to this rule is the constitutional provision authorizing the legislature to propound interrogatories to the supreme court upon important questions upon solemn occasions.
  2. Whenever the provisions of the initiative and referendum laws are applied as here, to local and municipal affairs, the city or town clerk shall perform the duties specified, and upon failure to perform these mandatory duties, or shall refuse to submit any petition in the form presented for submission at any election, is subjected to the penal provisions of the statute providing for a fine and imprisonment. C.R.S. '53, 70-1-19.
  3. No discretion rests with administrative officials to pass upon the validity of an act proposed by the people.The people in the exercise of their right to vote upon such proposal, wisely adopt or reject it. If they express their sanction and approval of the ordinance by their vote, and its enforcement is attempted by one whose rights are affected, then the courts are open to pass upon the question of its validity.
  4. The separation of governmental powers must be held inviolate, therefore the trial court or this court may not intrude upon the legislative powers through an advisory opinion.

Federal Cases