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colorado > Colorado Electoral Code > Mail Ballot Elections

1-7.5-204. Preparing to count mail ballots – rejections

Statute

(1) (a) Before opening any mail ballot, one of the receiving judges, in the presence of a majority of the receiving judges, shall inspect the self-affirmation on the return envelope.

(b) The self-affirmation is valid if:

(I) The self-affirmation was completed by the elector;

(II) The self-affirmation was signed by the elector or, if the elector is unable to sign, marked by the elector with or without assistance and witnessed by another person; and

(III) In any election conducted by a county clerk and recorder, the signature on the self-affirmation matches the signature stored in the statewide voter registration system, or the eligible elector’s marks on the application and the self-affirmation were witnessed by other persons.

(c) If the self-affirmation is valid, the receiving judge shall open the envelope without defacing the self-affirmation or mutilating the enclosed ballot.

(d) For the purposes of subparagraph (III) of paragraph (b) of this subsection (1), the signatures on an eligible elector’s self-affirmation and stored in the statewide voter registration system shall be compared in the manner prescribed by section 1-7.5-107.3.

(2) If the self-affirmation on the return envelope is invalid, the election judges shall mark the envelope “rejected” and shall write on the envelope the reason for the rejection. The envelope shall be set aside without being opened, and the ballot, if cured, shall be counted.

(3) If it appears to the election judges, by sufficient proof, that a mail ballot sent to an elector who died before receiving the ballot contains a forged affidavit, the envelope containing the ballot of the deceased voter shall not be opened, and the election judges shall make notation of the death and fraudulent signature on the back of the envelope. The ballot shall be forwarded to the district attorney for investigation of a violation of section 1-13-106. If a mail ballot envelope contains more than one marked ballot of any one kind, none of the ballots shall be counted, and the election judges shall write the reason for rejection.

 

Source: L. 2013: Entire part added, (HB 13-1303), ch. 185, p. 739, § 92, effective May 10.L. 2014: (1)(b)(I) amended, (SB 14-161), ch. 160, p. 565, § 20, effective May 9.

 

Editor’s note: Section 34 of chapter 160 (SB 14-161), Session Laws of Colorado 2014, provides that changes to this section by the act apply to elections conducted on or after May 9, 2014.

Definition [Return envelope]

An envelope that is printed with spaces for the name and address of, and a self-affirmation to be signed by, an eligible elector voting in a mail ballot election, that contains a secrecy envelope and ballot for the elector, and that is designed to allow election officials, upon examining the signature, name, and address on the outside of the envelope, to determine whether the enclosed ballot is being submitted by an eligible elector who has not previously voted in that particular election. C.R.S. § 1-7.5-103.

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.