Unaffiliated Candidate Petition

Have you announced your candidacy and filed the required campaign finance forms?

Yes, continue to Step 1.

No, I need to become a candidate.



Steps

  1. Eligibility for nomination
  2. Petition signature requirements
  3. Review sample format
  4. Update sample format
  5. Submit final petition format for approval
  6. Receive approval for petition format
  7. Start circulating petition
  8. Submit petition and candidate acceptance form
  9. Signature verification and notice of sufficiency or insufficiency
  10. Submit audio recording
  11. Name placed on ballot



Step 1:  Eligibility for nomination

Candidates must meet the basic qualifications for office.

A candidate must be registered as unaffiliated no later than the first business day in January of the election year. [1]

Proof of registration and affiliation qualifications will be as shown on the voter registration books of the county clerk and recorder. [2]

In order to be eligible to circulate a petition, a person must be a resident of the state, a citizen of the United States, and at least 18 years of age. [3]



Step 2: Petition signature requirements

Only eligible electors within the district or political subdivision may sign the petition. An elector may not sign more than one candidate’s petition for the same office. [4]

In order to qualify, the petition must contain the required number of signatures. [5]

 

Step 3: Review sample format

Petition formats must be approved by the Secretary of State prior to circulation. [6]

Sample Petition Format - Unaffiliated (DOC)



Step 4: Update the sample petition format

Update the sample petition to replace all of the red instructional text with your specific information.

The petition may contain only one candidate’s name, except the joint candidates for governor and lieutenant governor. [7]

The petition must contain the name and address of the candidate and may designate in not more than three words the political or other name which the signer selects. No name of any political party can be used, in whole or in part, for this purpose. [8]

The petition may list one or more unaffiliated registered electors designated as a committee to fill vacancies, except candidates for state representative and state senate must include three or more unaffiliated registered electors as a vacancy committee. [9]



Step 5: Submit final petition format for approval

You may submit either a hard or electronic copy of your final petition format to the Secretary of State for approval.

Hard copies should be mailed or hand delivered to:

Colorado Secretary of State
Attention:  Ballot Access
1700 Broadway, Suite 200
Denver CO, 80290

Electronic copies should be emailed to: ballot.access@sos.state.co.us

Our office will not begin to review or approve petition formats until two weeks prior to the beginning of the petition circulation date. Once the review begins, the Secretary of State will approve or provide comment on each petition format within two business days. [10] 

 

Step 6: Receive approval for petition format

Our office will mail you a letter of approval or disapproval. [11]

For a faster response, please provide an email address where we can send your letter of approval/disapproval.



Step 7: Start circulating petition

After receiving approval for petition format, begin circulating the petition according to the specified dates. 

The petition may not be circulated prior to 173 days before the general election. [12]



Step 8: Submit petition and candidate acceptance form

The completed petition must be filed no later than 3 p.m. on the 117th day before the general election.  [13]

1. Complete the Candidate Acceptance of Petition Nomination form and have it notarized. [14]

The form must state the candidate’s name the way it will appear on the ballot. Candidate names cannot contain any title or degree designating the business or profession of the candidate. [15]

2. Attach the notarized acceptance form to the completed petition. [16]

3. Mail or hand deliver to:

Colorado Secretary of State
Attention:  Ballot Access
1700 Broadway, Suite 200
Denver CO, 80290


Step 9: Signature verification and notice of sufficiency or insufficiency

Petition signatures will be verified by the Secretary of State and if found to be sufficient, will be deemed valid, unless a protest is made in writing within five days after the statement of sufficiency is issued. [17]

We will notify you of your petition’s sufficiency or insufficiency in writing. For a faster response, please provide an email address where we can send the statement of sufficiency/insufficiency.


Step 10: Submit audio recording

Candidate audio recording must be submitted to the Secretary of State no later than 117 days before the general election. 

The audio recording must state the candidate’s name exactly as it appears on the candidate acceptance form, as this is how the candidate’s name will appear on the ballot. [18]

Audio Recording Instructions.

 

Step 11:  Name placed on general election ballot





[1] 1-4-802(1)(g)(II), C.R.S.
[2] 1-4-802(1)(g)(II), C.R.S.
[3] 1-4-905(1), C.R.S.
[4] 1-4-802(1)(c) & 1-4-904(1), 2(b), C.R.S.
[5] 1-4-802(1)(c), C.R.S.
[6] 1-4-903, C.R.S.
[7] 1-4-901, C.R.S.
[8] 1-4-802(1)(a), C.R.S.
[9] 1-4-802(1)(e), C.R.S.
[10] 1-4-903, C.R.S.
[11] 1-4-903, C.R.S.
[12] 1-4-802(1)(d)(I), C.R.S.
[13] 1-4-802(1)(f)(I), C.R.S.
[14] 1-4-906, C.R.S.
[15] 1-4-906 & 1-5-407(4), C.R.S.
[16] 1-4-906, C.R.S.
[17] 1-4-908 & 1-4-909(1), C.R.S.
[18] SOS Election Rule 4.6.1