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colorado > Colorado Electoral Code > Mail Ballot Elections

1-7.5-107.2. Manner of early voting – securing ballots cast during early voting

Statute

(1) An eligible elector who receives a mail ballot may cast the ballot at a voter service and polling center prior to election day. Ballot boxes must be locked and sealed each night with a numbered seal under the supervision of the election judges or watchers, and the designated election official shall retain possession of the keys until he or she transfers the same to the counting place pursuant to section 1-7.5-203 for preparation to count and tabulate. When a seal is broken, the designated election official and a person who is not of the same political party as the designated election official shall record the number of the seal and maintain the seal along with an explanation of the reasons for breaking the seal.

(2) (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection (2), the voting machines, electronic voting machines, or ballot boxes must remain locked and secured with a numbered seal, and the tabulation of the votes cast must remain unknown until the time prescribed in section 1-7.5-202 for counting voters’ ballots. Alternatively, except for electronic voting equipment and mail ballot boxes, the ballot boxes must be opened each night, and the voted ballots must be placed in a transfer case that is locked and secured with a numbered seal. A record must be maintained consisting of the date and seal number of each ballot box and transfer case until each ballot box and transfer case is transferred pursuant to section 1-7.5-203 for preparation for counting and tabulating. When a seal is broken, the designated election official and a person who is not of the same political party as the designated election official shall record the number of the seal and maintain the seal along with an explanation of the reasons for breaking the seal. During the time the voter service and polling center is not open, the designated election official shall have the custody and keys of any voting machine or electronic voting equipment being used for the casting of ballots.

(b) The designated election official shall place in a locked and secured location all direct record electronic voting machine cartridges that record votes cast on such voting machines. The tabulation of votes cast and recorded on such cartridges must remain unknown until the time prescribed in section 1-7.5-202 for counting ballots.

 

Source: L. 2013: Entire section added, (HB 13-1303), ch. 185, p. 732, § 87, effective May 10.

 

Editor’s note: This section is similar to former § 1-7.5-107 as it existed prior to 1992.

Cross references: In 2013, subsections (2)(a), (2.3)(a), (2.5)(a), (3)(a), (3)(c), (3)(d), (3.5)(c), (3.5)(d), (4)(b), (4.3), (4.5), and (6) 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

Requirement that voter affix a postage stamp to a mail ballot in order to vote in a mail ballot election does not constitute an unconstitutional poll tax. Bruce v. City of Colo. Springs, 971 P.2d 679 (Colo. App. 1998).

City’s failure to include the words “address correction requested” on the mail ballot packet did not constitute a lack of substantial compliance with this section. Bruce v. City of Colo. Springs, 971 P.2d 679 (Colo. App. 1998).
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 [Mail ballot packet]

The packet of information provided by the designated election official to eligible electors in the mail ballot election and to persons preregistered to vote pursuant to section 1-2-101(2) who will be eighteen years of age on the date of the mail ballot election. The packet includes the ballot, instructions for completing the ballot, a secrecy envelope or sleeve, and a return envelope. C.R.S. § 1-7.5-103.

Definition [Mail ballot election]

An election for which eligible electors receive ballots by mail and vote by mailing those ballots, depositing the ballots at, as applicable, drop-off locations or voter service and polling centers, or, as applicable, by voting at a voter service and polling center. The term does not include an independent mail ballot election. 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 [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.