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Colorado > Colorado Electoral Code > Initiative And Referendum

1-40-131. Tampering with initiative or referendum petition

Overview of Statute

Penalities for tampering with initiative or referendum petitions.

Statute

Any person who willfully destroys, defaces, mutilates, or suppresses any initiative or referendum petition or who willfully neglects to file or delays the delivery of the initiative or referendum petition or who conceals or removes any initiative or referendum petition from the possession of the person authorized by law to have the custody thereof, or who adds, amends, alters, or in any way changes the information on the petition as provided by the elector, or who aids, counsels, procures, or assists any person in doing any of said acts commits a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as provided in section 1-13-111. The language in this section shall not preclude a circulator from striking a complete line on the petition if the circulator believes the line to be invalid.

Source: L. 93: Entire article amended with relocations, p. 695, § 1, effective May 4.

Editor’s note: This section is similar to former § 1-40-118.5 as it existed prior to 1993.

ANNOTATION

Richard B. Collins, Structuring the Ballot Initiative: Procedures that Do and Don’t Work, 66 U. Colo. L. Rev. 47 (1995).

 

Definition [Circulator]

A person who presents to other persons for possible signature a petition for recall as described in this article. C.R.S. § 1-12-100.5.

Definition [Circulator]

A person who presents to other persons for possible signature a petition to place a measure on the ballot by initiative or referendum.

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 [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: Fabec v. Beck

Citation: 922 P.2d 330 (Colo. 1996)

Year: 1996

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/c5be6ab4bb2b1b003a8eb6c361f9ef05

Case Summary: Holding that no administrative review of Secretary's determination concerning sufficiency of signatures is required before protestor can seek judicial relief; it was proper for Secretary to combine valid signatures determined by line-by-line examination of both the original petition and the addendum rather using a random sampling method; substantial compliance is standard applied in assessing effect of signature deficiencies; discrepancies in circulator's date of signing and date of notary acknowledgement made affected petitions invalid; petition that contained altered date next to circulator's signature was invalid; changes to circulator's signing date did not constitute substantial compliance; there was substantial compliance with notarized affidavit requirement; and there was substantial compliance with signature requirements despite omission of signing date from one circulator affidavit.

Out-of-State Cases

Federal Cases

Case Name: Am. Constitutional Law Found., Inc. v. Meyer

Citation: 120 F.3d 1092 (10th Cir. 1997)

Federal Circuit Court: 10th Circuit Court

Year: 1997

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/3d3d9c8280768fc2c2d6774c4dc5632d

Case Summary: Holding that state statute requiring petition circulators to be registered electors unconstitutionally impinged on free expression; statute's requirement that circulators wear personal identification badges unconstitutionally infringed their First Amendment rights; and provisions of statute requiring disclosure of information regarding paid circulators violated First Amendment.

Regulations & Guidance