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Colorado > Colorado Electoral Code > Help America Vote Act

1-1.5-101. Legislative declaration

Overview of Statute

The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) was passed in 2002 as the result of a national consensus that America’s electoral system needed improvements to ensure that every eligible person could vote and that every vote would be counted. This provision highlights the objectives of the legislation, the scope of the legislation, and specific information relevant to its enforcement.


(1) The general assembly hereby finds, determines, and declares that:

(a) The “Help America Vote Act of 2002”, Pub.L. 107-252, was passed by the United States congress and signed into law by president George W. Bush on October 29, 2002.

(b) HAVA resulted from a national consensus that the nation’s electoral system needs improvements to ensure that every eligible voter has the opportunity to vote, that every vote that should be counted will be counted, and that no legal vote will be canceled by a fraudulent vote.

(c) HAVA clearly defines the rights and privileges of those eligible individuals who seek to vote, including all overseas and military service voters, and seeks to prevent disenfranchisement resulting from mistaken determinations of ineligibility to vote, the use of outdated voting systems that are unreliable or insufficiently accessible for disabled voters, or unnecessary administrative obstacles.

(d) To achieve these purposes, HAVA authorizes significant amounts of federal financial assistance to the states to finance the purchase of more reliable voting systems and mandates changes in the conduct of federal elections in all states for the purposes of ensuring greater access to the polls by individuals with disabilities, providing more information to individuals who wish to vote, improving the training of poll workers, and reducing the possibility of fraud in the electoral process.

(e) As a condition of the receipt of certain funds from the federal government under HAVA, section 253 (b) (5) of HAVA requires the states to appropriate funds for carrying out the activities for which such payments are made in an amount equal to five percent of the total amount to be spent for such activities.

(f) HAVA empowers the United States department of justice to bring civil actions seeking such declaratory and injunctive relief as may be necessary to carry out uniform and nondiscriminatory election technology and administration requirements. Accordingly, failure to satisfy the requirements of HAVA may subject election laws and procedures of this state to stringent review and approval by the United States department of justice.

(g) In order that its requirements may be effectively and uniformly implemented, HAVA mandates a greater role for the state governments and, in particular, the chief election official of each state, in overseeing and coordinating elections and in enforcing and implementing uniform standards in elections.

(h) In Colorado, the secretary of state is the chief state election official and, in that capacity, is charged by HAVA and existing state statutory provisions with responsibility for supervising the conduct of elections and for enforcing and implementing the provisions of HAVA and of this code.

(2) Now, therefore, by enacting this article, the general assembly intends to:

(a) Begin the process of implementing the changes in this code that are required by HAVA;

(b) Ensure the timely fulfillment by the state of all requirements for eligibility under HAVA to be able to receive appropriated federal funds under HAVA; and

(c) Provide the secretary of state with sufficient authority to ensure that the state of Colorado is fully compliant with all requirements imposed upon it pursuant to HAVA.

(3) The general assembly further intends that this article be liberally construed to effectuate its purposes as expressed in this section.


Source: L. 2003: Entire article added, p. 2065, § 7, effective May 22.


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.

Cross references: For the “Help America Vote Act of 2002”, see Pub.L. 107-252, codified at 42 U.S.C. sec. 15301 et seq.

Definition [United States]

Used in the territorial sense, means the several states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, and any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. C.R.S. § 1-8.3-102.

Definition [HAVA]

The federal “Help America Vote Act of 2002”, P.L. No. 107-252, codified at 42 U.S.C. sec. 15301 et seq.1. C.R.S. § 1-1.5-102.

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 [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.