How Does the Complaint Process Work?

Submission process

The Administrative Complaint process provides a uniform, nondiscriminatory procedure for resolving any complaint alleging a violation of any provision of Title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), including a violation that has occurred, is occurring, or is about to occur. This procedure does not apply to alleged violations of state or federal law not involving Title III.

The Submission Process allows receipt by your county clerk (local election official) of complaints or filing directly with the Secretary of State. Upon receipt of a HAVA 2002 Title III complaint, the local election official will forward the complaint within one business day to the Secretary of State who will receive and track all HAVA complaints.

In accordance with state and federal law, the complaint must be in writing and notarized, signed and sworn by the person filing the complaint (the complainant), involve a HAVA 2002 Title III alleged violation, and filed within one year from the date of the alleged violation or the election, whichever is later. The complainant has the option of utilizing the form or filing a letter with required information.

Complaints filed with the local election official will be faxed to the Secretary of State within one business day of receipt. The original will be mailed and a copy retained for the local file. Conversely, complaints filed with the Secretary of State will be faxed to the local election official within one business day of receipt. A copy will be mailed and the Secretary of State will retain the original.

Upon receipt at the Office of the Secretary of State, the complaint will be date stamped, logged in, and assigned a state ID number for tracking. A receipted copy will be faxed to the local election official.

The complaint form or letter will be checked for required information, and an acknowledgement of receipt will be sent to the complainant. The acknowledgement shall indicate the tracking number and general instructions for tracking the complaint.

Review process

The Colorado Help America Vote Act, exempts the HAVA Administrative Complaint Procedures from the Administrative Procedure Act in C.R.S. 1-1.5-105(3)(b).

Under the review process, there are several options available:

  • Local resolution
  • Resolution or remedy without a hearing
  • Dismissal
  • Consolidation
  • Extension
  • Hearing
  • Determination


Aletnative dispute resolution

The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) procedure is required if the Secretary of State does not issue a final determination concerning the complaint within 90 days of filing.

HAVA complaint form (PDF)