1-8.3-113. Transmission and receipt of ballot
(1) A covered voter who requested and received ballot materials by electronic transmission may also return the ballot by electronic transmission:
(a) In circumstances where another more secure method, such as returning the ballot by mail, is not available or feasible, as specified in rules promulgated by the secretary of state; or
(b) If the ballot is for a recall election conducted under article 12 of this code.
(2) A valid ballot cast in accordance with section 1-8.3-111 shall be counted if it is received by the close of business on the eighth day after an election at the address that the appropriate state or local election office has specified.
(3) If, at the time of completing a ballot and balloting materials, the voter has declared under penalty of perjury that the ballot was timely submitted, the ballot shall not be rejected as late.
Source: L. 2011: Entire article added, (HB 11-1219), ch. 176, p. 670, § 1, effective May 13.L. 2014: (1) amended,(SB 14-158), ch. 170, p. 622, § 13, effective May 9.
Cross references: For the legislative declaration in SB 14-158, see section 1 of chapter 170, Session Laws of Colorado 2014.
The language in subsection (2) is intended to capture the deadline for the event when local election officials complete or certify their official counting of ballots, by whatever name that event is known in the state. Even those ballots of overseas and military voters that arrive after election day can and must be included in these official results if local election officials have received them by the day before the deadline for this event, giving local election officials that day to process them before making their return or certification.
The act precludes rejecting a military-overseas ballot for lack of a postmark (or for a late postmark) in light of the fact that many pieces of military mail enter the postal system through delivery to a mail clerk in a remote location without a postmark, and are only postmarked some days later when they reach a more established facility.
According to the rules, “Electronic Transmission” means:
(a) For the purpose of sending an unvoted ballot by fax, email, or online delivery to:
(1) A military or overseas elector under Article 8.3 of Title 1, C.R.S.
(2) An elector requesting a replacement for an emergency under section 1-7.5-115, C.R.S.
(3) An affected elector requesting a ballot because of a disaster emergency.
(b)For the purpose of returning a voted ballot to the county clerk fax or email.
1. Definition for 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.
2. Definition for 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.
3. Definition for 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.
4. Definition for 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.
5. Definition for 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.
6. Definition for Secretary
The Colorado secretary of state. C.R.S. § 1-1.5-102.