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Colorado > Colorado Electoral Code > Conduct of Elections

1-7-601. Judges’ certificate and statement

Overview of Statute

Following a completed vote count, election judges will make a certificate for each precinct that identifies a detailed analysis of the result. Another written statement will also identify all ballots cast, spoiled ballots received, and other relevant information about the distribution of ballots during voting, which should be submitted with all unused ballots, spoiled ballots, and stubs of ballots.

Statute

(1) As soon as all the votes have been read and counted, either at the precincts or at the electronic balloting counting centers, the election judges shall make a certificate for each precinct, stating the name of each candidate, the office for which that candidate received votes, and stating the number of votes each candidate received. The number shall be expressed in numerical figures. The entry shall be made, as nearly as circumstances will permit, in the following form:


At an election held ……………….., in precinct ……, in the county of ………………. and state of Colorado, on the ………………. day of ………………. in the year ……, the following named candidates received the number of votes annexed to their respective names for the following described offices: Total number of ballots or votes cast was …. A.B. and E.F. had 72
votes for governor and lieutenant governor; C.D. and G.H. had 69 votes for governor and lieutenant governor; J.K. had 68 votes for representative in congress; L.M. had 70 votes for representative in congress; N.O. had 72 votes for state representative; P.Q. had 71 votes for state representative; R.S. had 84 votes for sheriff; T.W. had 60 votes for sheriff; (and the same manner for any other persons voted for).



Certified by us:—A.B.<N>)—C.D.<N>)—E.F.<N>)<N>Election Judges

(1.5) In addition to the information required by subsection (1) of this section, the certificate prepared by the election judges for each precinct shall state the ballot title and submission clause of any ballot issue or ballot question voted upon in the election and the number of votes counted for and against the ballot issue or ballot question.

(2) In addition, the election judges shall make a written statement showing the number of ballots voted, making a separate statement of the number of unofficial and substitute ballots voted, the number of ballots delivered to electors, the number of spoiled ballots, the number of ballots not delivered to electors, and the number of ballots returned, identifying and specifying the same. All unused ballots, spoiled ballots, and stubs of ballots voted shall be returned with the statement.

(3) Any judges’ certificates and statements may be combined into one document if so directed by the designated election official.

 

Source: L. 92: Entire article R&RE, p. 750, § 9, effective January 1, 1993.L. 93: (3) added, p. 1422, § 78, effective July 1.L. 2007: (1) amended and (1.5) added, p. 1980, § 30, effective August 3.

 

Editor’s note: Articles 1 to 13 were numbered as articles 1, 3, 4, 9 to 19, and 21 of chapter 49, C.R.S. 1963. The substantive provisions of these articles were repealed and reenacted in 1980, resulting in the addition, relocation, and elimination of sections as well as subject matter. For amendments to these articles prior to 1980, consult the Colorado statutory research explanatory note and the table itemizing the replacement volumes and supplements to the original volume of C.R.S. 1973 beginning on page vii in the front of this volume. Former C.R.S. numbers prior to 1980 are shown in editor’s notes following those sections that were relocated. For a detailed comparison of these articles for 1980, see the comparative tables located in the back of the index.

Cross references: For school elections, see articles 30, 31, and 42 of title 22; for elections for removal of county seats, see article 8 of title 30; for municipal elections, see article 10 of title 31; for special district elections, see part 8 of article 1 of title 32; for exemption of certain statutory proceedings from the rules of civil procedure, see C.R.C.P. 81; for recall from office, see article XXI of the state constitution; for recall of state and county officers, see part 1 of article 12 of this title; for recall of municipal officers, see part 5 of article 4 of title 31; for recall of directors of special districts, see § § 32-1-906, 32-1-907.


Editor’s note: Articles 1 to 13 were repealed and reenacted in 1980, and this article was subsequently repealed and reenacted in 1992, resulting in the addition, relocation, and elimination of sections as well as subject matter. For amendments to this article prior to 1992, consult the Colorado statutory research explanatory note and the table itemizing the replacement volumes and supplements to the original volume of C.R.S. 1973 beginning on page vii in the front of this volume and the editor’s note following the title heading. Former C.R.S. section numbers are shown in editor’s notes following those sections that were relocated in 1992. For a detailed comparison of this article for 1980 and 1992, see the comparative tables located in the back of the index.

Cross references: For election offenses relating to conduct of elections, see part 7 of article 13 of this title.

Editor’s note: This section is similar to former § 1-7-310 as it existed prior to 1992.
 
ANNOTATION

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

The judges are required to make a certificate in such form that it could not be changed except it would show evidence of having been tampered with. People ex rel. Miller v. Tool, 35 Colo. 225, 86 P. 224, 86 P. 229, 86 P. 231 (1905).

Therefore, tally sheets are insufficient to contradict certificates. In the face of this section it certainly was not the purpose of the general assembly to allow mere tally sheets, which are not certified, contain nothing more than strokes of pen or pencil with respect to the number of votes cast for any candidate, and can be readily changed, to be taken as evidence sufficient to contradict the certificates in case of a discrepancy between such certificates and the tally sheets. People ex rel. Miller v. Tool, 35 Colo. 225, 86 P. 224, 86 P. 229, 86 P. 231 (1905).

Furthermore, irregularities committed by judges of election in the certification of their returns do not invalidate the returns unless they are in such a state as to render it impossible to ascertain therefrom the vote and for whom cast. Lehman v. Pettingell, 39 Colo. 258, 89 P. 48 (1907).

And such returns must be canvassed and certified by the canvassing board. Lehman v. Pettingell, 39 Colo. 258, 89 P. 48 (1907).

Hence, where the judges did not receive the pollbooks required in time for use on election day and thereupon kept a list of the voters and made a tally of the votes on sample ballots, and the judges, after certifying to the result of the election, although not in the manner and form prescribed, delivered the returns to the county clerk within a few days after election, but the board of canvassers refused to count and canvass said returns, although no other returns were received from that precinct, solely because the certificates and oaths were not in the form and the returns upon the proper blanks, such irregularities did not invalidate the returns, and it further appearing that the precinct judges in good faith undertook to certify the true result of the precinct election and that the result could be ascertained therefrom, it became the duty of the board to canvass such returns and to issue certificates in accordance with the result. Lehman v. Pettingell, 39 Colo. 258, 80 P. 48 (1907).

Injunction lies to prevent judges of election from committing or permitting fraud. The state upon the relation of the attorney general may invoke the powers of the supreme court for a writ of injunction to prevent the judges of election and other officers in control of an election from committing, and from permitting others to commit, frauds at elections and to secure a judicial enforcement of the statutes relating to elections so as to prevent the perpetration of such frauds. People ex rel. Miller v. Tool, 35 Colo. 225, 86 P. 224, 86 P. 229, 86 P. 231 (1905).

Such questions being purely judicial and not political. People ex rel. Miller v. Tool, 35 Colo. 225, 86 P. 224, 86 P. 229, 86 P. 231 (1905).

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 [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 [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

Case Name: Lehman v. Pettingell

Citation: 89 P. 48 (Colo. 1907)

Year: 1907

Case PDF: Lehman v. Pettingell

Case Summary: The mistakes made by election judges in the certification of returns does not invalidate the returns unless these mistakes render the returns impossible to ascertain the allocation of a vote. The case involved a challenge against county clerks who presided over the election of a sheriff and county treasurer.

Case Name: People ex rel. Miller v. Tool

Citation: 35 Colo. 225, 86 P. 224, 86 P. 229, 86 P. 231 (1905)

Year: 1905

Case PDF: People ex rel. Miller v. Tool

Case Summary: A temporary election commission participating in a vote count should disregard tally lists if different than a precinct election official's certificate. Decided in part under former statutory provisions.

Out-of-State Cases

Federal Cases