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Colorado > Colorado Electoral Code > Conduct of Elections

1-7-503. Manner of voting

Overview of Statute

Upon receiving a ballot or an entry card to an electronic device, eligible voters must immediately proceed unaccompanied to one of the voting booths. Voters must then fill out the ballot in the manner required on the ballot, and then deposit the completed ballot, with the official endorsement facing upward, in the ballot box within full view of designated election judges. Alternatively, for polling stations utilizing a ballot marking device,[1] an election judge will deposit the ballot card in the ballot box.

[1] C.R.S. § 1-5-702(2.5): “ballot marking device” defined as “”Ballot marking device” means a device that allows an elector to mark a ballot card used in an electromechanical voting system and that meets the standards in section 1-5-704 (1) (o).”

Statute

(1) Each eligible elector, upon receiving a ballot, shall immediately proceed unaccompanied to one of the voting booths provided. To cast a vote, the eligible elector shall clearly fill the oval, connect the arrow, or otherwise appropriately mark the name of the candidate or the names of the joint candidates of the elector’s choice for each office to be filled. In the case of a ballot issue, the elector shall clearly fill the oval, connect the arrow, or otherwise appropriately mark the appropriate place opposite the answer that the elector desires to give. Before leaving the voting booth, the eligible elector, without displaying the marks thereon, shall place the ballot in the privacy envelope so that the contents of the ballot or ballot card are concealed and shall place the envelope and the ballot or ballot card in the ballot box.

(2) Each eligible elector who has prepared the ballot and is ready to vote shall then leave the voting booth and approach the election judges having charge of the ballot box. The eligible elector shall give his or her name to one of the election judges. The elector shall, in full view of the election judges, deposit the ballot or ballot card in the ballot box, with the official endorsement on the ballot or ballot card facing upward.

(3) In precincts which use electronic voting equipment in which voting is by a method other than a ballot, each voter shall be listed by name in the pollbook and shall be given an entry card to the electronic voting device.

(4) Notwithstanding any provision of subsection (1) or (2) of this section to the contrary, at a polling location at which a ballot marking device, as defined in section 1-5-702 (2.5), is available for accessible voting, the election judge in charge of the ballot box shall deposit every elector’s ballot card in the ballot box.

 

Source: L. 92: Entire article R&RE, p. 745, § 9, effective January 1, 1993.L. 97: (1) and (2) amended, p. 185, § 5, effective August 6.L. 2007: (4) added, p. 1979, § 27, effective August 3.L. 2012: (1) amended, (HB 12-1292), ch. 181, p. 685, § 29, effective May 17.L. 2013: (4) amended, (HB 13-1303), ch. 185, p. 722, § 72, effective May 10.

 

Editor’s note: This section is similar to former § 1-7-503 as it existed prior to 1992.

Cross references: (1) For ballots for general and congressional vacancy elections, see § 1-5-403; for method of counting paper ballots, see § 1-7-307; for ballots improperly marked, see § 1-7-309.

(2) In 2013, subsection (4) was 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

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

A voter is required to express his choice by making an “X” in the space left, for the purpose, opposite the name of the candidate for whom he desires to vote. Riley v. Trainor, 57 Colo. 155, 140 P. 469 (1914).

And a cross mark has to be made when voters write in more than one name. Riley v. Trainor, 57 Colo. 155, 140 P. 469 (1914).
Annotation: June 10, 2016 3:46 pm

The rules define “ballot marking device (BMD)” as a device that may integrate components such as an optical scanner, printer, touch-screen monitor, audio output, and a navigational keypad and uses electronic technology to:
(a) Mark a paper ballot at voter direction;
(b) Interpret the ballot selections;
(c)Communicate the interpretation for voter verification; and
(d)Print a voter-verifiable ballot.

Definition [Ballot marking device]

A device that allows an elector to mark a ballot card used in an electromechanical voting system and that meets the standards in section 1-5-704(1)(o). C.R.S. § 1-5-702.

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 [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.

Cases

Colorado Cases

Out-of-State Cases

Case State: colorado

Case Name: Riley v. Trainor

Citation: 57 Colo. 155, 140 P. 469 (1914)

Year: 1914

Case Summary: Holding that a ballot should not be counted unless the voter complies with the law to specify a candidate for the particular office in question.

Federal Cases

Regulations & Guidance