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1-6-120. Removal of election judges by the court

Overview of Statute

Election judges, designated election officials, county chairpersons of a political party, and eligible electors of a political subdivision may commence a removal proceeding against an election judge who fails, or neglects, to perform the duties of the position. Upon finding of proper cause, a district court may hear the removal proceedings. Accused election judges have forty-eight hours to respond to any petition containing allegations of wrongdoing, after which a court may schedule a hearing. Any decision by the court will not affect the legitimacy of any work completed, and substituted election judges who are subsequently appointed will perform the same duties as the ousted judge.


(1) Upon the failure or neglect of any election judge to perform the duties of the office, any other election judge, the designated election official, the county chairperson of a political party, or an eligible elector of the political subdivision for which the election judge is appointed, having knowledge of the failure or neglect, shall cause proper action for removal to be instituted against the election judge.

(2) Election judges who neglect their duties, who commit, encourage, or connive in any fraud in connection with their duties, who violate any of the election laws or knowingly permit others to do so, who are convicted of any crime, who violate their oath, who wrongfully hamper or interfere or tend to interfere with the regular performance of the duties of the other election judges, who commit any other act that interferes or tends to interfere with a fair and honest registration and election, or who are not appointed in accordance with the provisions of this article may be removed in the following manner:

(a) Any eligible elector may file a brief petition in the district court at any time up to twelve days before any election, setting out in brief and concise language the facts constituting the cause for the removal of the election judge. The petition shall be verified, but the verification may be upon information and belief. Upon filing of the petition, the court shall issue a citation to the election judge directing an appearance within forty-eight hours to answer the petition if the election judge desires to do so.

(b) The court shall proceed summarily to hear and finally dispose of the petition and may set a hearing within forty-eight hours after the answer is filed. Evidence given by any accused election judge at the hearing shall not be used against that election judge in any civil, criminal, or other proceedings. If the court decides that the election judge should be removed for any cause stated in the petition, the court shall so order and shall immediately notify the appropriate election official.

(3) The validity of any part of the registration or election already completed or other acts performed under this code, if otherwise legally performed, shall not be affected by the removal of an election judge and shall be in every respect valid and regular. The successor of any election judge removed shall proceed with the duties of the election judge with the same power and effect as though originally appointed.


Source: L. 92: Entire article R&RE, p. 730, § 8, effective January 1, 1993.L. 95: (2)(a) amended, p. 839, § 57, effective July 1.


Editor’s note: This section is similar to former § 1-5-117 as it existed prior to 1992.
Definition [Political party]

Any group of registered electors who, by petition or assembly, nominate candidates for the official general election ballot. “Political party” includes affiliated party organizations at the state, county, and election district levels, and all such affiliates are considered to be a single entity for the purposes of this article, except as otherwise provided in section 7. Section 2(13) of article XXVIII of the state constitution.

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 [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.

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 [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.

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.