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colorado > Colorado Electoral Code > Notice Of And Preparation For Elections

1-5-102.9. Voter service and polling centers – number required – services provided – drop-off locations – repeal

Overview of Statute

Election officials must assign voter service and polling centers in proportion to the population of the area. In designating voter service and polling center locations, the county clerk and recorder must consider several factors related to the county’s needs including proximity to public transportation, availability of parking, accessibility of polling places, location of population centers, accessibility for disabled persons, and other relevant factors. This statute also provides further regulations related to selecting voter service and polling centers. Election officials must also keep voter service and polling centers open for the fifteen days prior to an election, except Sundays. These centers must also create a procedure for administering drop-off boxes.

Statute

(1) (a) For general elections, each county clerk and recorder shall designate a minimum number of voter service and polling centers, as follows:

(I) For counties with at least twenty-five thousand active electors:

(A) During the period designated for early voting, at least one voter service and polling center for each thirty thousand active electors; except that there must be at least one voter service and polling center in each such county; and

(B) On election day, at least one voter service and polling center for every fifteen thousand active electors, but no fewer than three in each such county.

(II) For counties with at least ten thousand, but fewer than twenty-five thousand, active electors:

(A) During the period designated for early voting, at least one voter service and polling center; and

(B) On election day, at least three voter service and polling centers.

(III) For counties with fewer than ten thousand active electors:

(A) During the period designated for early voting, at least one voter service and polling center; and

(B) On election day, at least one voter service and polling center.

(b) (I) On and after November 8, 2016, for the purposes of paragraph (a) of this subsection (1), the number of active electors in a county is the number of active electors registered in the county on the date of the previous presidential election.

(II) (A) Until November 8, 2016, the number of active electors in a county for the purposes of paragraph (a) of this subsection (1) is the number of active electors on the date of the 2012 general election plus the number of voters marked “Inactive – failed to vote” on that date.

(B) This subparagraph (II) is repealed, effective January 1, 2017.

(c) (I) In designating voter service and polling center locations pursuant to this subsection (1), each county clerk and recorder shall consider the following factors to address the needs of the county:

(A) Proximity to public transportation lines and availability of parking;

(B) Geographic features, such as mountain passes, that tend to affect access and convenience;

(C) Equitable distribution across the county so as to afford maximally convenient options for electors;

(D) The existence and location of population centers;

(E) Access for persons with disabilities;

(F) Use of existing voting locations that typically serve a significant number of electors;

(G) Use of public buildings that are known to electors in the county, especially to the extent that using such buildings results in cost savings compared to other potential locations; and

(H) When private locations are considered or designated as voter service and polling centers in accordance with section 1-5-105 (3), methods and standards to ensure the security of voting conducted at such locations.

(II) In designating voter service and polling centers, a county clerk and recorder shall solicit public comments.

(d) Each county clerk and recorder shall submit the proposed voter service and polling center locations to the secretary of state as part of the mail ballot plan.

(e) A county clerk and recorder may designate a greater number of voter service and polling centers than the minimum required by this section.

(2) Voter service and polling centers must be open, at a minimum, for the fifteen-day period prior to and including the day of the election, except that voter service and polling centers are not required to be open on Sundays.

(3) Each voter service and polling center must provide:

(a) The ability for an eligible elector to register to vote pursuant to section 1-2-217.7;

(b) The ability for an eligible elector to cast a ballot;

(c) The ability for an eligible elector to update his or her address pursuant to section 1-2-217.7;

(d) The ability for an eligible elector who has legally changed his or her name to have his or her name changed pursuant to section 1-2-218;

(e) The ability for an unaffiliated registered elector to affiliate with a political party and cast a ballot in a primary election;

(f) Secure computer access; except that a county described in subparagraphs (II) and (III) of paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of this section may seek a waiver of this requirement upon demonstrating hardship and securing approval of a plan to access the statewide voter database and conduct real-time verification of voter eligibility via telephone or other means;

(g) Facilities and equipment that are compliant with the federal “Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990”, 42 U.S.C. sec. 12101 et seq., as amended;

(h) Direct record electronic voting machines or other voting systems accessible to electors with disabilities as provided in part 7 of article 5 of this title;

(i) Voting booths;

(j) Original and replacement ballots for distribution;

(k) Mail ballots to requesting electors;

(l) The ability to accept mail ballots that are deposited by electors; and

(m) The ability of a person to cast a provisional ballot.

(3.5) If an elector desires to vote by casting a ballot at a voter service and polling center but there are technical problems accessing the centralized statewide voter registration system maintained pursuant to 1-2-301 at the voter service and polling center, and his or her eligibility cannot be verified by a voter service and polling center election judge after the judge contacts the county clerk and recorder by telephone or electronic mail, if practicable, the elector is entitled to cast a provisional ballot in accordance with article 8.5 of this title.

(4) (a) In addition to providing voter service and polling centers in accordance with this section, counties shall also establish stand-alone drop-off locations for the purpose of allowing electors to deposit their completed mail ballots.

(b) (I) (A) All counties described in subparagraph (I) of paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of this section shall provide at least one drop-off location for each thirty thousand active voters in the county, but must provide a minimum of one stand alone drop-off location.

(B) Only counties with at least twenty-five thousand active electors are required to provide stand alone drop-off locations on the date of a general election and on the Saturday and Monday immediately preceding the date of a general election.

(II) The placement and security of each drop-off location shall be determined by each county, in accordance with the secretary of state’s current security rules. With the exception of twenty-four hour secure drop boxes, each stand alone drop-off location must be separate from voter service and polling centers.

(III) Counties are encouraged to designate community-based locations as stand-alone drop-off locations.

 

Source: L. 2013: Entire section added, (HB 13-1303), ch. 185, p. 704, § 31, effective May 10.

 

Cross references: In 2013, this section 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.

 

Cross references: In 2013, this section 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.

Definition [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.

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.

Definition [Secretary]

The Colorado secretary of state. C.R.S. § 1-1.5-102.

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