1-4-908. Verification of petition and official statement
Overview of Statute
The secretary of state will establish guidelines for verifying petition entries. These guidelines require designated officials to review all petition information and verify the information against registration records, and, where applicable, the county assessor’s records.
After review, the official will notify the candidate about the number of valid signatures and the petition’s sufficiency no later than ninety-six days before the general election. After determining that the petition is sufficient and the period for protest has passed, the official will certify the candidate for the ballot, and, if it is a coordinated election, notify the coordinated election official.
(1) Upon filing, the designated election official for the political subdivision shall review all petition information and verify the information against the registration records, and, where applicable, the county assessor’s records. The secretary of state shall establish guidelines for verifying petition entries.
(1.5) (a) In any election conducted after January 1, 2018, for any petition that must be filed with the secretary of state in accordance with section 1-4-907, the secretary of state shall compare each signature on a candidate petition with the signature of the eligible elector stored in the statewide voter registration system. The secretary of state may use a signature verification device to compare the signatures.
(b) (I) If it is determined that the signature on the petition does not match the signature of the eligible elector stored in the statewide voter registration database, or if a signature verification device is unable to determine that the signatures match, a second review shall be made
by an employee of the secretary of state’s office or a designee trained in signature verification. If the employee or designee agrees that the signatures do not match, the secretary of state shall, within three days of determining the signature deficiency, notify the candidate of such deficiency.
(II) To cure a signature that failed the signature verification process described in subsection (1.5)(b)(I) of this section, a candidate must provide the secretary of state with a statement, signed by the elector whose signature failed the verification process, that states substantially that the elector signed the petition. The statement must be accompanied by a copy of the elector’s identification, as defined in section 1-1-104 (19.5). The secretary of state shall prescribe the
form for the statement. To cure the signature deficiency, the candidate must return the statement and a copy of the elector’s identification to the secretary of state within three days of the date the secretary notifies the candidate of the signature deficiency.
(III) The secretary of state may promulgate rules, in accordance with article 4 of title 24, to implement this subsection (1.5).
(2) (Deleted by amendment, L. 95, p. 832, § 36, effective July 1, 1995.)
(3) After review, the official shall notify the candidate of the number of valid signatures and whether the petition appears to be sufficient or insufficient. In the case of a petition for nominating an unaffiliated candidate, the official shall provide notification of sufficiency or
insufficiency to the candidate no later than ninety-six days before the general election. Upon determining that the petition is sufficient and after the time for protest has passed, the designated election official shall certify the candidate to the ballot, and, if the election is a coordinated election, so notify the coordinated election official.
Source: L. 92: Entire part R&RE, p. 690, § 7, effective January 1, 1993. L. 94: (1) and (3)amended, p. 1154, § 16, effective July 1. L. 95: (2) and (3) amended, p. 832, § 36, effective July1; (3) amended, p. 886, § 3, effective July 1. L. 2011: (3) amended, (SB 11-189), ch. 243, p. 1064, § 11, effective May 27. L. 2012: (3) amended, (HB 12-1292), ch. 181, p. 681, § 15, effective May 17. L. 2017: (1.5) added, (HB 17-1088), ch. 398, p. 2076, § 1, effective August 9.
Editor’s note: (1) This section is similar to former § 1-4-603 (2) as it existed prior to 1992. (2) Amendments to subsection (3) by House Bill 95-1022 and House Bill 95-1241 were harmonized.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Definition for Title
A brief statement that fairly and accurately represents the true intent and meaning of the proposed text of the initiative.
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 Section
A bound compilation of initiative forms approved by the secretary of state, which shall include pages that contain the warning required by section 1-40-110 (1), the ballot title, the abstract required by section 1-40-110 (3), and a copy of the proposed measure; succeeding pages that contain the warning, the ballot title, and ruled lines numbered consecutively for registered electors’ signatures; and a final page that contains the affidavit required by section 1-40-111 (2). Each section shall be consecutively prenumbered by the petitioner prior to circulation.
6. 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.
7. Definition for Secretary
The Colorado secretary of state. C.R.S. § 1-1.5-102.
8. Definition for 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.
Case Name: Hanlen v. Gessler
Citation: 333 P.3d 41 (Colo. 2014)
Case Summary: Holding that Secretary of State acted in excess of his rulemaking authority in making rule that permitted designated election official to determine, after ballots had been printed, that an individual appearing on the ballot was not qualified for office, and directed that votes cast for that individual were invalid.