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

1-5-407. Form of ballots

Overview of Statute

Election officials must use a uniform size for all ballots that provide sufficient space to allow for the printing of the names of candidates, officers, and ballot measures in plain type with space between the different columns. Ballots must also meet other requirements related to printed endorsements, the type of paper, ballot identification, permissible names, and guidance for voters. Election officials must also print ballots in a manner that allows voters to have a clear opportunity to designate their choice of candidates and ballot measures. Starting with the 2010 general election, each proposed change to the state constitution is to be identified on the ballot as an “amendment.” Also, proposed changes to the Colorado Revised Statutes will be identified as a “proposition.”

The order of these amendments, and other ballot measures, will be listed consecutively in numerical order as outlined in the statute. Coordinated election officials may choose to follow the above listed provisions for ballot measures, or can choose to use separate ballots. If separate ballots are used, candidates will be listed first, then measures to increase taxes, measures to increase debt, citizen petitions, and referred measures. Additional regulations include providing consistency in ballots across counties.

Statute

(1) (a) All ballots must be uniform and of sufficient length and width to allow for the names of candidates, officers, ballot issues, and ballot questions to be printed in clear, plain type, with a space between the different columns on the ballot. On each ballot the endorsement “Official ballot for ………………….” must be printed, and after the word “for” follows the designation of the precinct, if appropriate, and the political subdivision for which the ballot is prepared, the date of the election, and a facsimile of the signature of the election official. The ballot shall not contain any caption or other endorsement, except as provided in this section. The election official shall use the same quality and tint of paper, the same kind of type, and the same quality and tint of plain black ink for all ballots prepared for one election.

(b) If the designated election official, in his or her discretion, elects to use ballot stubs, each ballot may have either one or two stubs to be divided into two spaces by two perforated or dotted lines. Each such space must be at least one inch wide. The top portion is called the stub and the next portion is called the duplicate stub. All ballots prepared under this paragraph (b) must be numbered consecutively. The same number must be printed on both the stub and the duplicate stub.

(1.5) Repealed.

(1.6) A ballot stub may be used, but is not required, for a ballot produced on demand, so long as the quantity of ballots produced for the election can be reconciled by the ballot processing method used by the voting system. Such ballots may contain printed and distinguishing marks, so long as secrecy in voting is protected.

(2) The ballots shall be printed so as to give to each eligible elector a clear opportunity to designate his or her choice of candidates, joint candidates, ballot issues, and ballot questions by a mark as instructed. On the ballot may be printed words that will aid the elector, such as “vote for not more than one”.

(3) At the end of the list of candidates for each different office shall be one or more blank spaces in which the elector may write the name of any eligible person not printed on the ballot who has filed an affidavit of intent of write-in candidate pursuant to section 1-4-1101. The number of spaces provided shall be the lesser of the number of eligible electors who have properly filed an affidavit of intent of write-in candidate pursuant to section 1-4-1101 or the number of persons to be elected to the office. No such blank spaces shall be provided if no eligible elector properly filed an affidavit of intent of write-in candidate.

(4) The names of the candidates for each office shall be arranged under the designation of the office as provided in section 1-5-404. The designated election official shall not print, in connection with any name, any title or degree designating the business or profession of the candidate. Each candidate’s name may include one nickname, if the candidate regularly uses the nickname and the nickname does not include any part of a political party name.

(4.5) If no candidate has been duly nominated and no person has properly filed an affidavit of intent of write-in candidate for an office, the following text shall appear under the designation of the office: “There are no candidates for this office.”.

(5) (a) Whenever the approval of a ballot issue or ballot question is submitted to the vote of the people, the ballot issue or question shall be printed upon the ballot following the lists of candidates. Except as otherwise provided in section 32-9-119.3 (2), C.R.S., referred amendments shall be printed first, followed by initiated amendments, referred propositions, initiated propositions, county issues and questions, municipal issues and questions, school district issues and questions, ballot issues and questions for other political subdivisions which are in more than one county, and then ballot issues and questions for other political subdivisions which are wholly within a county.

(b) Beginning with the 2010 general election:

(I) Each proposed change to the state constitution, whether initiated by the people or referred to the people by the general assembly, shall be identified on the ballot as an “amendment”;

(II) Each proposed change to the Colorado Revised Statutes, whether initiated by the people or referred to the people by the general assembly, shall be identified on the ballot as a “proposition”; and

(III) A ballot issue or question containing both a proposed change to the state constitution and a proposed change to the Colorado Revised Statutes shall be identified on the ballot as an “amendment”.

(5.3) (a) Commencing with the general election held in November 2010, each statewide measure initiated by the people that is a proposed change to the state constitution shall be numbered consecutively in regular numerical order beginning with the number sixty. Such consecutive numbering of measures shall continue at any odd-year or general election held after such election at which any such measure is on the ballot beginning with the number following the highest number utilized in the previous election until the number ninety-nine is utilized at an election for any such measure. Such measures shall again be numbered consecutively in regular numerical order beginning with the number one and in accordance with this paragraph (a) following the utilization of the number ninety-nine for any such measure. The secretary of state may promulgate rules as may be necessary to administer this paragraph (a). Such rules shall be promulgated in accordance with article 4 of title 24, C.R.S.

(b) Commencing with the general election held in November 2010, each statewide measure initiated by the people that is a proposed change to the Colorado Revised Statutes shall be numbered consecutively in regular numerical order beginning with the number one hundred one. Such consecutive numbering of measures shall continue at any odd-year or general election held after such election at which any such measure is on the ballot beginning with the number following the highest number utilized in the previous election until the number one hundred ninety-nine is utilized at an election for any such measure. Such measures shall again be numbered consecutively in regular numerical order beginning with the number one hundred one and in accordance with this paragraph (b) following the utilization of the number one hundred ninety-nine for any such measure. The secretary of state may promulgate rules as may be necessary to administer this paragraph (b). Such rules shall be promulgated in accordance with article 4 of title 24, C.R.S.

(5.4) (a) Commencing with the general election held in November 2010, each statewide measure referred to the people by the general assembly that is a proposed change to the state constitution shall be lettered consecutively in regular alphabetical order beginning with the letter P. The consecutive lettering of such statewide referred measures shall continue at any odd-year or general election held after the election at which any statewide referred measure is on the ballot beginning with the letter following the last letter utilized in the previous election until the letter Z is utilized at an election for such a statewide referred measure. Such statewide referred measures shall again be lettered consecutively in regular alphabetical order beginning with the letter A and in accordance with this paragraph (a) following the utilization of the letter Z for any such statewide referred measure. The secretary of state may promulgate rules as may be necessary to administer this paragraph (a). Any rules shall be promulgated in accordance with article 4 of title 24, C.R.S.

(b) Commencing with the general election held in November 2010, each statewide measure referred to the people by the general assembly that is a proposed change to the Colorado Revised Statutes shall be double-lettered consecutively in regular alphabetical order beginning with the letters AA. The consecutive lettering of such statewide referred measures shall continue at any odd-year or general election held after the election at which any statewide referred measure is on the ballot beginning with the letters following the last letters utilized in the previous election until the letters ZZ are utilized at an election for such a statewide referred measure. Such statewide referred measures shall again be lettered consecutively in regular alphabetical order beginning with the letters AA and in accordance with this paragraph (b) following the utilization of the letters ZZ for any such statewide referred measure. The secretary of state may promulgate rules as may be necessary to administer this paragraph (b). Any rules shall be promulgated in accordance with article 4 of title 24, C.R.S.

(5.5) The coordinated election official may choose to follow the provisions of subsection (5) of this section, or may choose to use separate ballots. If separate ballots are used, the candidates shall be listed first, followed by measures to increase taxes, measures to increase debt, citizen petitions, and referred measures.

(6) Whenever candidates are to be voted for only by the eligible electors of a particular district, county, or other political subdivision, the names of those candidates shall not be printed on any ballots other than those provided for use in the district, county, or political subdivision in which those candidates are to be voted on.

(7) No printing or distinguishing marks shall be on the ballot except as specifically provided in this code.

(8) Repealed.

(9) If a referred measure, including but not limited to a measure referred by the school board of a multicounty school district or the board of directors of a multicounty special district to the registered electors of the school district or special district, is referred to registered electors of multiple counties, the alphabetical, numerical, or alphanumerical designation used to identify the measure shall be identical on each ballot that includes the measure.

 

Source: L. 92: Entire article R&RE, p. 712, § 8, effective January 1, 1993.L. 93: (1) and (5) amended and (5.5) added, p. 1412, § 53, effective July 1.L. 94: (1) amended and (8) added, p. 1161, § 30, effective July 1.L. 96: (3) amended, p. 1743, § 35, effective July 1.L. 97: (1) amended and (1.5) added, p. 184, § 2, effective August 6.L. 2000: (5.3) added, p. 299, § 8, effective August 2.L. 2002: (1), (2), (3), and (4) amended and (1.6) and (4.5) added, p. 1630, § 7, effective June 7.L. 2005: (5) amended and (5.4) and (9) added, p. 1265, § 1, effective June 3.L. 2009: (5) amended, (SB 09-108), ch. 5, p. 48, § 3, effective March 2; (5), (5.3), and (5.4) amended, (HB 09-1326), ch. 258, p. 1167, § 1, effective January 1, 2010.L. 2010: (5)(a) amended, (SB 10-216), ch. 413, p. 2041, § 1, effective June 10.L. 2012: (4) and (5)(b) amended, (HB 12-1292), ch. 181, p. 683, § 22, effective May 17.L. 2014: (1) and (1.6) amended and (1.5) and (8) repealed, (SB 14-161), ch. 160, p. 560, § 12, effective May 9.

 

Editor’s note: (1) This section is similar to former § 1-6-402 as it existed prior to 1992.

(2) Amendments to subsection (5) by Senate Bill 09-108 and House Bill 09-1326 were harmonized.

Annotation: June 16, 2016 7:48 pm

“Voting system” as defined in section 1-1-104(50.8), C.R.S., means:
(a) The total combination of mechanical, electromechanical, or electronic equipment (including the software, firmware, and documentation required to program, control, and support the equipment) that is used to:
(1)Define ballots;
(2) Cast and count votes;
(3) Report or display election results; and
(4) Maintain and produce any audit trail information.
(b) The practices and associated documentation used to:
(1) Identify system components and versions of such components;
(2) Test the system during its development and maintenance;
(3) Maintain records of system errors and defects;
(4)Determine specific system changes to be made to a system after the initial qualification of the system; and
(5) Make available any materials to the voter (such as notices, instructions, forms, or paper ballots).
(c) “Voting system” does not include any other component of election administration, such as voter registration applications or systems, electronic pollbooks, ballot delivery and retrieval systems, signature verification and envelope sorting devices, ballot on demand printers, election night reporting and other election reporting systems, and other components used throughout the election process that do not capture and tabulate votes.

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 [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 [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.

Definition [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.

Regulations & Guidance