Topics
Code Section
Colorado > Colorado Electoral Code > Conduct of Elections

1-7-106. Watchers at general and congressional vacancy elections

Overview of Statute

For general and congressional vacancy elections, each participating party, issue committee whose name or issue appears on the ballot, and unaffiliated candidate may have only one watcher serving at each county’s voter service and polling center. A form identifying the watcher must be submitted to the appropriate county clerk and recorder for certification, which should be done by the Friday immediately preceding the election to the extent possible. Additionally, these watchers must surrender the certificates to the election judges upon entering the voter service and polling center. These provisions, however, do not prevent party candidates or county party officers from observing the progress of voting at polling centers or drop-off locations.

Statute

Each participating political party or issue committee whose candidate or issue is on the ballot, and each unaffiliated and write-in candidate whose name is on the ballot for a general or congressional vacancy election, is entitled to have no more than one watcher at any one time in each voter service and polling center in the county and at each place where votes are counted in accordance with this article. The chairperson of the county central committee of each major political party, the county chairperson or other authorized official of each minor political party, the issue committee, or the write-in or unaffiliated candidate shall certify the names of one or more persons selected as watchers on forms provided by the county clerk and recorder and submit the names of the persons selected as watchers to the county clerk and recorder. To the extent possible, the chairperson, authorized official, issue committee, or candidate shall submit the names by the close of business on the Friday immediately preceding the election. The watchers shall surrender the certificates to the election judges at the time they enter the voter service and polling center and are sworn by the judges. This section does not prevent party candidates or county party officers from visiting voter service and polling centers or drop-off locations to observe the progress of voting.

 

Source: L. 92: Entire article R&RE, p. 733, § 9, effective January 1, 1993.L. 95: Entire section amended, p. 862, § 122, effective July 1.L. 2002: Entire section amended, p. 1633, § 15, effective June 7.L. 2007: Entire section amended, p. 1978, § 23, effective August 3.L. 2013: Entire section amended, (HB 13-1303), ch. 185, p. 718, § 61, effective May 10.

 

Editor’s note: This section is similar to former § 1-7-104 as it existed prior to 1992.

Cross references: In 2013, this section was amended by the “Voter Access and Modernized Elections Act”. For the short title and the legislative declaration, see sections 1 and 2 of chapter 185, Session Laws of Colorado 2013.
 
ANNOTATION

Law reviews. For article, “Watchers in Colorado Elections”, see 43 Colo. Law. 37 (June 2014).

Definition [Issue committee]

Any person, other than a natural person, or any group of two or more persons, including natural persons:

(I) That has a major purpose of supporting or opposing any ballot issue or ballot question; or

(II) That has accepted or made contributions or expenditures in excess of two hundred dollars to support or oppose any ballot issue or ballot question.

(b) “Issue committee” does not include political parties, political committees, small donor committees, or candidate committees as otherwise defined in this section.

(c) An issue committee shall be considered open and active until affirmatively closed by such committee or by action of the appropriate authority.

Section 2(10) of article XXVIII of the state constitution.

 

(b) For purposes of section 2 (10) (a) (I) of article XXVIII of the state constitution, “major purpose” means support of or opposition to a ballot issue or ballot question that is reflected by:

(I) An organization’s specifically identified objectives in its organizational documents at the time it is established or as such documents are later amended; or

(II) An organization’s demonstrated pattern of conduct based upon its:

(A) Annual expenditures in support of or opposition to a ballot issue or ballot question; or

(B) Production or funding, or both, of written or broadcast communications, or both, in support of or opposition to a ballot issue or ballot question.

(c) The provisions of paragraph (b) of this subsection (12) are intended to clarify, based on the decision of the Colorado court of appeals in Independence Institute v. Coffman, 209 P.3d 1130 (Colo. App. 2008), cert. denied, — U.S. —, 130 S. Ct. 165, 175 L. Ed. 479 (2009), section 2 (10) (a) (I) of article XXVIII of the state constitution and not to make a substantive change to said section 2 (10) (a) (I).

C.R.S. § 1-45-103.

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 [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 [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 [Committee]

The committee of signers described in section 1-12-108(2). C.R.S. § 1-12-100.5.

Definition [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.

Regulations & Guidance