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Colorado > Colorado Electoral Code > Conduct of Elections

1-7-514. Random audit

Overview of Statute

After each primary, general, coordinated, or congressional district vacancy election, the secretary of state, with at least two members of the county board of observers present, must conduct an audit of voting machines using a randomly selected sample of at least five percent of machines from each county. For counties that use central count voting devices, the Secretary must also conduct an audit examining ballots counted within the county. The purpose for the audit will vary depending on the type of voting procedure employed, including whether the county employs a voting system.[1]

Also, to the extent possible, any voting machine subject to an audit should not also be used for testing prior to a recount election.[2] Following an audit, the county clerk and recorder must investigate and take necessary remedial actions to address any discrepancy in vote count found. Also, the secretary of state must make the results of the audit available on its website and publish notice of this posting in a newspaper of general circulation throughout the state. The secretary of state will promulgate rules[3] for implementing this procedure.

[1] C.R.S. § 1-5-802 provides the guidelines for the creation of a paper record identifying each elector’s vote.

[2] C.R.S. § 1-10.5-102(3)(a) provides guidelines for recount elections.

[3] Article 4 of title 24, C.R.S. (“State Administrative Procedure Act”) provides rule-making procedure.

Statute

(1) (a) (I) Following each primary, general, coordinated, or congressional district vacancy election, the secretary of state shall publicly initiate a manual random audit to be conducted by each county. Unless the secretary approves an alternative method for a particular county that is based on a proven statistical sampling plan and will achieve a higher level of statistical confidence, the secretary shall randomly select not less than five percent of the voting devices used in each county to be audited; except that, where a central count voting device is in use in the county, the rules promulgated by the secretary pursuant to subsection (5) of this section shall require an audit of a specified percentage of ballots counted within the county.

(II) For an election taking place in a county prior to the date the county has satisfied the requirements of section 1-5-802, the audit shall be for the purpose of comparing the manual tallies of the ballots counted by each voting device selected for each such audit with the corresponding tallies recorded directly by each such device.

(III) For an election taking place in a county on or after the date the county has satisfied the requirements of section 1-5-802, the audit shall be conducted for the purpose of comparing the manual tallies of the voter-verified paper records produced or employed by each voting device selected for such audit with the corresponding ballot tallies recorded directly by each such device in the original election tally.

(b) To the extent practicable, no voting device that is used for the random audit required by paragraph (a) of this subsection (1) shall be used for conducting the testing of voting devices for recount purposes required by section 1-10.5-102 (3) (a).

(2) (a) Upon completion of the audit required by subsection (1) of this section, if there is any discrepancy between the manual tallies, as specified in accordance with the requirements of subparagraph (II) or (III) of paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of this section, as applicable, of the voting device selected for the audit, and the corresponding tallies recorded by such devices, and the discrepancy is not able to be accounted for by voter error, the county clerk and recorder, in consultation with the canvass board of the county established pursuant to section 1-10-101, shall investigate the discrepancy and shall take such remedial action as necessary in accordance with its powers under this title.

(b) Upon receiving any written complaint from a registered elector from within the county containing credible evidence concerning a problem with a voting device, the canvass board along with the county clerk and recorder shall investigate the complaint and take such remedial action as necessary in accordance with its powers under this title.

(c) The canvass board and the county clerk and recorder shall promptly report to the secretary of state a description of the audit process undertaken, including any initial, interim, and final results of any completed audit or investigation conducted pursuant to paragraph (a) or (b) of this subsection (2).

(3) The secretary of state shall post the reports of any completed audit or investigation received pursuant to paragraph (c) of subsection (2) of this section on the official web site of the department of state not later than five business days after receiving the results of the completed audit or investigation. The clerk and recorder of the affected county may timely post the results of the completed audit or investigation on the official web site of the county. The secretary shall publish once in a newspaper of general circulation throughout the state notification to the public that the results have been posted on the department’s web site.

(4) Any audit conducted in accordance with the requirements of this section shall be observed by at least two members of the canvass board of the county.

(5) The secretary of state shall promulgate such rules, in accordance with article 4 of title 24, C.R.S., as may be necessary to administer and enforce any requirement of this section, including any rules necessary to provide guidance to the counties in conducting any audit required by this section. The rules shall account for:

(a) The number of ballots cast in the county;

(b) An audit of each type of voting device utilized by the county;

(c) The confidentiality of the ballots cast by the electors; and

(d) An audit of the voting on each office, ballot issue, and ballot question in the election.

 

Source: L. 2005: Entire section added, p. 1409, § 27, effective June 6; entire section added, p. 1444, § 27, effective June 6.L. 2007: (1)(a)(I), (1)(a)(III), (2)(c), and (3) amended and (5)(d) added, pp. 1979, 1980, § § 28, 29, effective August 3.L. 2009: (3) amended, (HB 09-1335), ch. 260, p. 1194, § 11, effective May 15.

Annotation: June 13, 2016 3:15 pm

The rules define “central count” as the county’s principal ballot counting and processing location.

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.

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