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Colorado > Colorado Electoral Code > Initiative And Referendum

1-40-115. Ballot – voting – publication

Overview of Statute

Compliance with ballot requirements and voter designation.

 

Statute

(1) Measures shall appear upon the official ballot by ballot title only. The measures shall be placed on the ballot in the order in which they were certified to the ballot and as provided in section 1-5-407 (5), (5.3), and (5.4).

(2) (a) All ballot measures shall be printed on the official ballot in that order, together with their respective letters and numbers prefixed in bold-faced type. A ballot issue arising under section 20 of article X of the state constitution shall appear in capital letters. Each ballot shall have the following explanation printed one time at the beginning of such ballot measures: “Ballot questions referred by the general assembly or any political subdivision are listed by letter, and ballot questions initiated by the people are listed numerically. A ballot question listed as an ‘amendment’ proposes a change to the Colorado constitution, and a ballot question listed as a ‘proposition’ proposes a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes. A ‘yes/for’ vote on any ballot question is a vote in favor of changing current law or existing circumstances, and a ‘no/against’ vote on any ballot question is a vote against changing current law or existing circumstances.” Each ballot title shall appear on the official ballot but once. For each ballot title that is an amendment, the amendment number or letter shall be immediately followed by the description “(CONSTITUTIONAL)”. For each ballot title that is a proposition, the proposition number or letters shall be immediately followed by the description “(STATUTORY)”. Each ballot title shall be separated from the other ballot titles next to it by heavy black lines and shall be followed by the words “YES/FOR” and “NO/AGAINST”, along with a place for an eligible elector to designate his or her choice by a mark as instructed.

(b) For purposes of preparing an audio ballot as part of an accessible voting system:

(I) In lieu of the parenthetical description preceding a ballot title that is an amendment required by paragraph (a) of this subsection (2), the audio ballot shall include the following: “The following ballot question proposes a change to the Colorado constitution.”; and

(II) In lieu of the parenthetical description preceding a ballot title that is a proposition required by paragraph (a) of this subsection (2), the audio ballot shall include the following: “The following ballot question proposes a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes.”.

(3) A voter desiring to vote for the measure shall designate his or her choice by a mark in the place for “yes/for”; a voter desiring to vote against the measure shall designate his or her choice by a mark in the place for “no/against”; and the votes marked shall be counted accordingly. Any measure approved by the people of the state shall be printed with the acts of the next general assembly.

 

Source: L. 93: Entire article amended with relocations, p. 685, § 1, effective May 4.L. 94: (1) amended, p. 1180, § 74, effective July 1.L. 95: (3) amended, p. 434, § 11, effective May 8.L. 97: (2) amended, p. 189, § 17, effective August 6.L. 2000: (2) amended, p. 297, § 2, effective August 2.L. 2009: (2) amended, (HB 09-1326), ch. 258, p. 1175, § 12, effective January 1, 2010.L. 2010: (1) amended, (HB 10-1116), ch. 194, p. 840, § 28, effective May 5.L. 2012: (2) amended, (HB 12-1292), ch. 181, p. 688, § 41, effective May 17; (2)(a) and (3) amended, (HB 12-1089), ch. 70, p. 242, § 3, effective January 1, 2013.

Editor’s note: (1) This section is similar to former § 1-40-108 (1) as it existed prior to 1993, and the former § 1-40-115 was relocated to § 1-40-127. (2) Amendments to subsection (2)(a) by House Bill 12-1089 and House Bill 12-1292 were harmonized.

Cross references: (1) For printing of session laws, see § 24-70-223. (2) For the legislative declaration in the 2012 act amending subsections (2)(a) and (3), see section 1 of chapter 70, Session Laws of Colorado 2012.

Annotation: June 10, 2016 5:16 pm

The rules define “ballot measure” as a ballot issue or ballot question as defined in sections 1-1-104(2.3) and (2.7), C.R.S.

Annotation: June 9, 2016 10:00 pm

The rules define “audio ballot” as a voter interface containing the list of all candidates, ballot issues, and ballot questions upon which an eligible elector is entitled to vote in an election. It also provides the voter with audio stimuli and allows the voter to communicate voting intent to the voting system through vocalization or physical actions.

Definition [Ballot issue]

A nonrecall,  citizen-initiated  petition  or legislatively-referred
measure which is authorized by the state constitution, including a question as defined in  sections 1-41-102 (3) and 1-41-103 (3), enacted in Senate Bill 93-98.

Definition [Ballot title]

The language which is printed on the ballot which is comprised of the submission clause and the title.

Definition [Political subdivision]

A governing subdivision of the state, including counties, municipalities, school districts, and special districts. C.R.S. § 1-7.5-103.

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 [Title]

A brief statement that fairly and accurately represents the true intent and meaning of the proposed text of the initiative.

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 [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.

Cases

colorado Cases

Case Name: In re Title (Matter of Increase of Taxes on Tob. Prod. Initiative)

Citation: 756 P.2d 995 (Colo. 1988)

Year: 1988

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/ceddd565b2e0f1b9f72359d08a90bc22

Case Summary: The summary prepared by the Board fairly and accurately reflects the true purport of the proposed law, and includes an adequate estimate and explanation of the fiscal impact which the proposed law would have on the state or any of its political subdivisions. We accordingly affirm the action of the Board.

Case Name: In re Proposed Constitutional Amendment under Designation “Pregnancy”

Citation: 757 P.2d 132 (Colo. 1988)

Year: 1988

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/b7870fe6fdb694ce1662fb19a6b13244

Case Summary: The Board utilized the language of the initiative nearly verbatim. The inclusion of language relating to the repeal of the present article V, section 50 is necessary to reflect the clear intent of the initiative submitted to the Board. We are satisfied that the title, ballot title and submission clause, and summary reflect the true meaning and intent of the proposed amendment and are not otherwise unfair. Accordingly, the decision of the Board is affirmed.

Out-of-State Cases

Federal Cases

Case Name: Montero v. Meyer

Citation: 790 F. Supp. 1531 (D. Colo. 1992)

Federal District Court: District of Colorado

Year: 1992

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/6b18bc3d0a11bbbb910c562633d94f68

Case Summary: Holding that a group of plaintiffs had a liberty right to challenge the title board's decision on an "English Only" amendment that was added to the Colorado Constitution by the vote of this state's citizens. Therefore, adding an amendment without proper notice violated the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution. All registered electors also have an interest in the choice of language to be used in a private initiative's title, submission clause and summary.

Regulations & Guidance