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

1-5-205. Published and posted notice of election

Overview of Statute

At least 20 days before any election, the designated election official must provide notice of the election. The notice must include information pertinent to the election, including the date and location of polling places. For vacancies related to an unexpired term during a general or congressional vacancy election, the secretary of state must give written notice by publication in at least one general circulation newspaper no later than 55 days before the election. The notice should specify the relevant office, the cause of that vacancy, the name of the affected officer, and when the term of office will expire.

Statute

(1) The designated election official, or the coordinated election official if so provided by an intergovernmental agreement, no later than twenty days before each election, shall provide notice by publication of the election as described by section 1-1-104 (34), which notice must state, as applicable for the particular election for which notice is provided, the following:

(a) The date of the election;

(b) The hours during which the polling locations and, as appropriate, drop-off locations will be open;

(c) The addresses of the polling locations;

(d) The addresses of the drop-off locations;

(e) The complete ballot content.

(f) to (i) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2002, p. 1627, § 5, effective June 7, 2002.)

(1.2) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2002, p. 1627, § 5, effective June 7, 2002.)

(1.3) A copy of the notice required by this section shall be posted at least ten days prior to the election and until two days after the election in a conspicuous place in the office of the designated election official or the clerk and recorder if the election is coordinated by the clerk and recorder. Sample ballots may be used as notices so long as the information required by this section is included with the sample ballot.

(1.4) Publication of the notice required by subsection (1) of this section by the clerk and recorder for a coordinated election shall satisfy the publication requirement for all political subdivisions participating in the coordinated election.

(1.5) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2002, p. 1627, § 5, effective June 7, 2002.)

(2) At the time that notice by publication is made, the designated election official shall also mail a copy of the notice of the election to the county clerk and recorders of the counties in which the political subdivision is located if the clerk and recorder is not the coordinated election official.

(3) When there is a vacancy for an unexpired term in any national or state office or a district office of state concern that is by law to be filled at any general or congressional vacancy election, the secretary of state, no later than fifty-five days prior to the election, shall give notice in writing by publishing a notice in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the state or in the congressional district in which the vacancy is to be filled. The notice shall specify the office in which the vacancy exists, the cause of the vacancy, the name of the officer in whose office it has occurred, and the time when the term of office will expire.

 

Source: L. 92: Entire article R&RE, p. 704, § 8, effective January 1, 1993.L. 93: Entire section amended, p. 1410, § 47, effective July 1.L. 94: Entire section amended, p. 1157, § 24, effective July 1.L. 96: IP(1), (1)(h), and (1)(i) amended and (1.2) added, p. 1743, § 33, effective July 1.L. 99: IP(1) and (1.5) amended, p. 773, § 43, effective May 20.L. 2000: (1)(g) amended, p. 299, § 7, effective August 2.L. 2002: Entire section amended, p. 1627, § 5, effective June 7.L. 2007: (1)(d) amended, p. 1778, § 13, effective June 1.L. 2013: IP(1), (1)(b), (1)(c), and (1)(d) amended, (HB 13-1303), ch. 185, p. 709, § 36, effective May 10.

 

Editor’s note: This section is similar to former § 1-6-202 (2) as it existed prior to 1992.

Cross references: (1) For the correction of errors in publication, see § 1-5-412.

(2) In 2013, the introductory portion to subsection (1) and subsections (1)(b), (1)(c), and (1)(d) were 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.

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

II. NOTICE BY SECRETARY OF STATE.

In case of the election of officers for the executive or judicial department, the secretary of state is bound to give 30 days’ notice of it, and in the case of a vacancy which is to be filled at the election, he must likewise give 30 days’ notice. People ex rel. Dix v. Kerwin, 10 Colo. App. 472, 51 P. 530 (1897).

III. NOTICE BY COUNTY CLERK AND RECORDER.

A. In General.

The requirement that notice be published and posted for 10 days before the election is specific, precise and definite. People ex rel. Dix v. Kerwin, 10 Colo. App. 472, 51 P. 530 (1897).

The theory of elections is that there shall be due notice given to the voters, and that they must be advised either by a direct notice published by the clerk or by proceedings taken by the voters and the people generally in such way as that it may be fairly inferred that it was generally and thoroughly well understood that a particular office was to be filled at the election, so that the voters should act understandingly and intelligently in casting their ballots. People ex rel. Dix v. Kerwin, 10 Colo. App. 472, 51 P. 530 (1897).

Election conducted without notice held to be invalid. People ex rel. Dix v. Kerwin, 10 Colo. App. 472, 51 P. 530 (1897).

But under some circumstances an election may be valid notwithstanding lack of notice. See People ex rel. Dix v. Kerwin, 10 Colo. App. 472, 51 P. 530 (1897).

For the notice requirement is not necessarily under all circumstances and at all times so far mandatory that a failure to observe it will defeat an election otherwise regularly held. People ex rel. Dix v. Kerwin, 10 Colo. App. 472, 51 P. 530 (1897).

B. Published in Newspapers.

The notice requirement is clearly intended for the benefit of the public, not the newspapers. People ex rel. Lamar Publ’g Co. v. Hoag, 54 Colo. 542, 131 P. 400 (1913).

The purpose of requiring that legal notices be published in newspapers of general circulation is not to benefit the papers but to insure that the public is aware of matters of legal importance. Resident Participation of Denver, Inc. v. Love, 322 F. Supp. 1100 (D. Colo. 1971).

And since the duty imposed by the notice requirement is a public one, its breach does not constitute a private wrong for which a publisher can recover in an individual action. People ex rel. Lamar Publ’g Co. v. Hoag, 54 Colo. 542, 131 P. 400 (1913).

However, a printer who follows the statutory requirements as to printing the nomination list cannot be denied compensation for such printing by reason of his purported nonobservance of the clerk’s directions to print in another form. Bd. of Comm’rs v. Frederick, 50 Colo. 464, 115 P. 514 (1911).

And for publishing the nomination list, publishers are entitled to the reasonable value of the work, as § 24-70-107, providing for fees for publication of legal notices, does not apply. Bd. of Comm’rs v. Price, 10 Colo. App. 519, 51 P. 1011 (1898).

And a contract of the publisher of a newspaper for the legal printing for a county may be so framed as to include the printing of such lists, in case the clerk should select such newspaper for its publication. Bd. of Comm’rs v. Frederick, 50 Colo. 464, 115 P. 514 (1911).

But the publication of the list of nominations is county printing. Bd. of Comm’rs v. Frederick, 50 Colo. 464, 115 P. 514 (1911).

But inasmuch as the clerk is to select the newspaper in which the list is to be published, a contract in general terms to do the “county legal printing”, at a specified rate, does not include the publication of such lists. Bd. of Comm’rs v. Frederick, 50 Colo. 464, 115 P. 514 (1911).

Definition [Political subdivision]

A governing subdivision of the state, including counties, municipalities, school districts, and special districts. C.R.S. § 1-7.5-103.

Definition [Designated election official]

The secretary of state, a county clerk and recorder, or other election official as provided by article XXI of the state constitution. C.R.S. § 1-12-100.5.

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 [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.