Colorado Constitution Article XXVIII

(Amendment 27)

Contents
Purpose and findings
Definitions
Contribution limits
Voluntary campaign spending limits
Independent expenditures
Electioneering communications
Disclosure
Filing - where to file - timeliness
Duties of the secretary of state - enforcement
Sanctions
Conflicting provisions declared inapplicable
Repeal of conflicting statutory provisions
Applicability and effective date
Severability

 

Section 1. Purpose and findings

The people of the state of Colorado hereby find and declare that large campaign contributions to political candidates create the potential for corruption and the appearance of corruption; that large campaign contributions made to influence election outcomes allow wealthy individuals, corporations, and special interest groups to exercise a disproportionate level of influence over the political process; that the rising costs of campaigning for political office prevent qualified citizens from running for political office; that because of the use of early voting in Colorado timely notice of independent expenditures is essential for informing the electorate; that in recent years the advent of significant spending on electioneering communications, as defined herein, has frustrated the purpose of existing campaign finance requirements; that independent research has demonstrated that the vast majority of televised electioneering communications goes beyond issue discussion to express electoral advocacy; that political contributions from corporate treasuries are not an indication of popular support for the corporation's political ideas and can unfairly influence the outcome of Colorado elections; and that the interests of the public are best served by limiting campaign contributions, encouraging voluntary campaign spending limits, providing for full and timely disclosure of campaign contributions, independent expenditures, and funding of electioneering communications, and strong enforcement of campaign finance requirements.

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Section 2. Definitions.

For the purpose of this Article and any statutory provisions pertaining to campaign finance, including provisions pertaining to disclosure:

(1) Appropriate officer" means the individual with whom a candidate, candidate committee, political committee, small donor committee, or issue committee must file pursuant to section 1-45-109 (1), C.R.S., or any successor section.

(2) "Candidate" means 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.

(3) "Candidate committee" means a person, including the candidate, or persons with the common purpose of receiving contributions or making expenditures under the authority of a candidate. A contribution to a candidate shall be deemed a contribution to the candidate's candidate committee. A candidate shall have only one candidate committee. A candidate committee shall be considered open and active until affirmatively closed by the candidate or by action of the secretary of state.

(4) "Conduit" means a person who transmits contributions from more than one person, directly to a candidate committee. "Conduit" does not include the contributor's immediate family members, the candidate or campaign treasurer of the candidate committee receiving the contribution, a volunteer fund raiser hosting an event for a candidate committee, or a professional fund raiser if the fund raiser is compensated at the usual and customary rate.

(5) (a) "Contribution" means:

(I) The payment, loan, pledge, gift, or advance of money, or guarantee of a loan, made to any candidate committee, issue committee, political committee, small donor committee, or political party;

(II) Any payment made to a third party for the benefit of any candidate committee, issue committee, political committee, small donor committee, or political party;

(III) The fair market value of any gift or loan of property made to any candidate committee, issue committee, political committee, small donor committee or political party;

(IV) Anything of value given, directly or indirectly, to a candidate for the purpose of promoting the candidate's nomination, retention, recall, or election.

(b) "Contribution" does not include services provided without compensation by individuals volunteering their time on behalf of a candidate, candidate committee, political committee, small donor committee, issue committee, or political party; a transfer by a membership organization of a portion of a member's dues to a small donor committee or political committee sponsored by such membership organization; or payments by a corporation or labor organization for the costs of establishing, administering, and soliciting funds from its own employees or members for a political committee or small donor committee.

(6) "Election cycle" means either:

(a) The period of time beginning thirty-one days following a general election for the particular office and ending thirty days following the next general election for that office;

(b) The period of time beginning thirty-one days following a general election for the particular office and ending thirty days following the special legislative election for that office; or

(c) The period of time beginning thirty-one days following the special legislative election for the particular office and ending thirty days following the next general election for that office.

(7) (a) "Electioneering communication" means any communication broadcasted by television or radio, printed in a newspaper or on a billboard, directly mailed or delivered by hand to personal residences or otherwise distributed that:

(I) Unambiguously refers to any candidate; and

(II) Is broadcasted, printed, mailed, delivered, or distributed within thirty days before a primary election or sixty days before a general election; and

(III) Is broadcasted to, printed in a newspaper distributed to, mailed to, delivered by hand to, or otherwise distributed to an audience that includes members of the electorate for such public office.

(b) "Electioneering communication" does not include:

(I) Any news Articles, editorial endorsements, opinion or commentary writings, or letters to the editor printed in a newspaper, magazine or other periodical not owned or controlled by a candidate or political party;

(II) Any editorial endorsements or opinions aired by a broadcast facility not owned or controlled by a candidate or political party;

(III) Any communication by persons made in the regular course and scope of their business or any communication made by a membership organization solely to members of such organization and their families;

(IV) Any communication that refers to any candidate only as part of the popular name of a bill or statute.

(8) (a) "Expenditure" means any purchase, payment, distribution, loan, advance, deposit, or gift of money by any person for the purpose of expressly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate or supporting or opposing a ballot issue or ballot question. An expenditure is made when the actual spending occurs or when there is a contractual agreement requiring such spending and the amount is determined.

(b) "Expenditure" does not include:

(I) Any news Articles, editorial endorsements, opinion or commentary writings, or letters to the editor printed in a newspaper, magazine or other periodical not owned or controlled by a candidate or political party;

(II) Any editorial endorsements or opinions aired by a broadcast facility not owned or controlled by a candidate or political party;

(III) Spending by persons, other than political parties, political committees and small donor committees, in the regular course and scope of their business or payments by a membership organization for any communication solely to members and their families;

(IV) Any transfer by a membership organization of a portion of a member's dues to a small donor committee or political committee sponsored by such membership organization; or payments made by a corporation or labor organization for the costs of establishing, administering, or soliciting funds from its own employees or members for a political committee or small donor committee.

(9) “Independent expenditure" means an expenditure that is not controlled by or coordinated with any candidate or agent of such candidate. Expenditures that are controlled by or coordinated with a candidate or candidate's agent are deemed to be both contributions by the maker of the expenditures, and expenditures by the candidate committee.

(10) (a) "Issue committee" means 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.

(11) "Person" means any natural person, partnership, committee, association, corporation, labor organization, political party, or other organization or group of persons.

(12) (a) "Political committee" means any person, other than a natural person, or any group of two or more persons, including natural persons that have accepted or made contributions or expenditures in excess of $200 to support or oppose the nomination or election of one or more candidates.

(b) "Political committee" does not include political parties, issue committees, or candidate committees as otherwise defined in this section.

(c) For the purposes of this Article, the following are treated as a single political committee:

(I) All political committees established, financed, maintained, or controlled by a single corporation or its subsidiaries;

(II) All political committees established, financed, maintained, or controlled by a single labor organization; except that, any political committee established, financed, maintained, or controlled by a local unit of the labor organization which has the authority to make a decision independently of the state and national units as to which candidates to support or oppose shall be deemed separate from the political committee of the state and national unit;

(III) All political committees established, financed, maintained, or controlled by the same political party;

(IV) All political committees established, financed, maintained, or controlled by substantially the same group of persons.

(13) "Political party" means 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.

(14) (a) "Small donor committee" means any political committee that has accepted contributions only from natural persons who each contributed no more than fifty dollars in the aggregate per year. For purposes of this section, dues transferred by a membership organization to a small donor committee sponsored by such organization shall be treated as pro-rata contributions from individual members.

(b) "Small donor committee" does not include political parties, political committees, issue committees, or candidate committees as otherwise defined in this section.

(c) For the purposes of this Article, the following are treated as a single small donor committee:

(I) All small donor committees established, financed, maintained, or controlled by a single corporation or its subsidiaries;

(II) All small donor committees established, financed, maintained, or controlled by a single labor organization; except that, any small donor committee established, financed, maintained, or controlled by a local unit of the labor organization which has the authority to make a decision independently of the state and national units as to which candidates to support or oppose shall be deemed separate from the small donor committee of the state and national unit;

(III) All small donor committees established, financed, maintained, or controlled by the same political party;

(IV) All small donor committees established, financed, maintained, or controlled by substantially the same group of persons.

(15) "Unexpended campaign contributions" means the balance of funds on hand in any candidate committee at the end of an election cycle, less the amount of all unpaid monetary obligations incurred prior to the election in furtherance of such candidacy.

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Section 3. Contribution limits.

(1) Except as described in subsections (2), (3), and (4) of this section, no person, including a political committee, shall make to a candidate committee, and no candidate committee shall accept from any one person, aggregate contributions for a primary or a general election in excess of the following amounts:

(a) Five hundred dollars to any one:

(I) Governor candidate committee for the primary election, and governor and lieutenant governor candidate committee, as joint candidates under 1-1-104, C.R.S., or any successor section, for the general election;

(II) Secretary of state, state treasurer, or attorney general candidate committee; and

(b) Two hundred dollars to any one state senate, state house of representatives, state board of education, regent of the university of Colorado, or district attorney candidate committee.

(2) No small donor committee shall make to a candidate committee, and no candidate committee shall accept from any one small donor committee, aggregate contributions for a primary or a general election in excess of the following amounts:

(a) Five thousand dollars to any one:

(I) Governor candidate committee for the primary election, and governor and lieutenant governor candidate committee, as joint candidates under 1-1-104, C.R.S., or any successor section, for the general election;

(II) Secretary of state, state treasurer, or attorney general candidate committee; and

(b) Two thousand dollars to any one state senate, state house of representatives, state board of education, regent of the university of Colorado, or district attorney candidate committee.

(3) (a) No political party shall accept aggregate contributions from any person, other than a small donor committee as described in paragraph (b) of this subsection (3), that exceed three thousand dollars per year at the state, county, district, and local level combined, and of such amount no more than twenty-five hundred dollars per year at the state level;

(b) No political party shall accept aggregate contributions from any small donor committee that exceed fifteen thousand dollars per year at the state, county, district, and local level combined, and of such amount no more than twelve thousand, five hundred dollars at the state level;

(c) No political party shall accept contributions that are intended, or in any way designated, to be passed through the party to a specific candidate's candidate committee;

(d) In the applicable election cycle, no political party shall contribute to any candidate committee more than twenty percent of the applicable spending limit set forth in section 4 of this Article.

(e) Any unexpended campaign contributions retained by a candidate committee for use in a subsequent election cycle shall be counted and reported as contributions from a political party in any subsequent election for purposes of paragraph (d) of this subsection (3);

(4) (a) It shall be unlawful for a corporation or labor organization to make contributions to a candidate committee or a political party, and to make expenditures expressly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate; except that a corporation or labor organization may establish a political committee or small donor committee which may accept contributions or dues from employees, officeholders, shareholders, or members.

(b) The prohibition contained in paragraph (a) of this subsection (4) shall not apply to a corporation that:

(I) Is formed for the purpose of promoting political ideas and cannot engage in business activities; and

(II) Has no shareholders or other persons with a claim on its assets or income; and

(III) Was not established by and does not accept contributions from business corporations or labor organizations.

(5) No political committee shall accept aggregate contributions or pro-rata dues from any person in excess of five hundred dollars per house of representatives election cycle.

(6) No candidate's candidate committee shall accept contributions from, or make contributions to, another candidate committee, including any candidate committee, or equivalent entity, established under federal law.

(7) No person shall act as a conduit for a contribution to a candidate committee.

(8) Notwithstanding any other section of this Article to the contrary, a candidate's candidate committee may receive a loan from a financial institution organized under state or federal law if the loan bears the usual and customary interest rate, is made on a basis that assures repayment, is evidenced by a written instrument, and is subject to a due date or amortization schedule. The contribution limits described in this section shall not apply to a loan as described in this subsection (8).

(9) All contributions received by a candidate committee, issue committee, political committee, small donor committee, or political party shall be deposited in a financial institution in a separate account whose title shall include the name of the committee or political party. All records pertaining to such accounts shall be maintained by the committee or political party for one-hundred eighty days following any general election in which the committee or party received contributions unless a complaint is filed, in which case they shall be maintained until final disposition of the complaint and any consequent litigation. Such records shall be subject to inspection at any hearing held pursuant to this Article.

(10) No candidate committee, political committee, small donor committee, issue committee, or political party shall accept a contribution, or make an expenditure, in currency or coin exceeding one hundred dollars.

(11) No person shall make a contribution to a candidate committee, issue committee, political committee, small donor committee, or political party with the expectation that some or all of the amounts of such contribution will be reimbursed by another person. No person shall be reimbursed for a contribution made to any candidate committee, issue committee, political committee, small donor committee, or political party, nor shall any person make such reimbursement except as provided in subsection (8) of this section.

(12) No candidate committee, political committee, small donor committee, or political party shall knowingly accept contributions from:

(a) Any natural person who is not a citizen of the United States;

(b) A foreign government; or

(c) Any foreign corporation that does not have the authority to transact business in this state pursuant to Article 115 of title 7, C.R.S., or any successor section.

(13) Each limit on contributions described in subsections (1), (2), (3) (a), (3) (b) and (5) of this section, and subsection (14) of section 2, shall be adjusted by an amount based upon the percentage change over a four year period in the United States bureau of labor statistics consumer price index for Denver- Boulder-Greeley, all items, all consumers, or its successor index, rounded to the nearest lowest twenty-five dollars. The first adjustment shall be done in the first quarter of 2007 and then every four years thereafter. The secretary of state shall calculate such an adjustment in each limit and specify the limits in rules promulgated in accordance with article 4 of title 24, C.R.S., or any successor section.

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Section 4. Voluntary campaign spending limits.

(1) Candidates may certify to the secretary of state that the candidate's candidate committee shall not exceed the following spending limits for the applicable election cycle:

(a) Two and one-half million dollars combined for a candidate for governor and governor and lieutenant governor as joint candidates under 1-1-104, C.R.S., or any successor section;

(b) Five hundred thousand dollars for a candidate for secretary of state, attorney general, or treasurer;

(c) Ninety thousand dollars for a candidate for the state senate;

(d) Sixty-five thousand dollars for a candidate for the state house of representatives, state board of education, regent of the university of Colorado, or district attorney.

(2) Candidates accepting the campaign spending limits set forth above shall also agree that their personal contributions to their own campaign shall be counted as political party contributions and subject to the aggregate limit on such contributions set forth in section 3 of this article.

(3) Each candidate who chooses to accept the applicable voluntary spending limit shall file a statement to that effect with the secretary of state at the time that the candidate files a candidate affidavit as currently set forth in section 1-45-110(1), C.R.S., or any successor section. Acceptance of the applicable voluntary spending limit shall be irrevocable except as set forth in subsection (4) of this section and shall subject the candidate to the penalties set forth in section 10 of this Article for exceeding the limit.

(4) If a candidate accepts the applicable spending limit and another candidate for the same office refuses to accept the spending limit, the accepting candidate shall have ten days in which to withdraw acceptance. The accepting candidate shall have this option of withdrawing acceptance after each additional non-accepting candidate for the same office enters the race.

(5) The applicable contribution limits set forth in section 3 of this Article shall double for any candidate who has accepted the applicable voluntary spending limit if:

(a) Another candidate in the race for the same office has not accepted the voluntary spending limit; and

(b) The non-accepting candidate has raised more than ten percent of the applicable voluntary spending limit.

(6) Only those candidates who have agreed to abide by the applicable voluntary spending limit may advertise their compliance. All other candidates are prohibited from advertising, or in any way implying, their acceptance of voluntary spending limits.

(7) Each spending limit described in subsection (1) of this section shall be adjusted by an amount based upon the percentage change over a four year period in the united states bureau of labor statistics consumer price index for Denver-Boulder-Greeley, all items, all consumers, or its successor index, rounded to the nearest lowest twenty-five dollars. The first adjustment shall be done in the first quarter of 2007 and then every four years thereafter. The secretary of state shall calculate such an adjustment in each limit and specify the limits in rules promulgated in accordance with Article 4 of title 24, C.R.S., or any successor section.

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Section 5. Independent expenditures.

(1) Any person making an independent expenditure in excess of one thousand dollars per calendar year shall deliver notice in writing to the secretary of state of such independent expenditure, as well as the amount of such expenditure, and a detailed description of the use of such independent expenditure. The notice shall specifically state the name of the candidate whom the independent expenditure is intended to support or oppose. Each independent expenditure in excess of one-thousand dollars shall require the delivery of a new notice. Any person making an independent expenditure within thirty days of a primary or general election shall deliver such notice within forty-eight hours after obligating funds for such expenditure.

(2) Any person making an independent expenditure in excess of one thousand dollars shall disclose, in the communication produced by the expenditure, the name of the person making the expenditure and the specific statement that the advertisement of material is not authorized by any candidate. Such disclosure shall be prominently featured in the communication.

(3) Expenditures by any person on behalf of a candidate for public office that are coordinated with or controlled by the candidate or the candidate's agent, or political party shall be considered a contribution to the candidate's candidate committee, or the political party, respectively. 7

(4) This section 5 applies only to independent expenditures made for the purpose of expressly advocating the defeat or election of any candidate.

 

Section 6. Electioneering communications.

(1) Any person who expends one thousand dollars or more per calendar year on electioneering communications shall submit reports to the secretary of state in accordance with the schedule currently set forth in 1-45-108 (2), C.R.S., or any successor section. Such reports shall include spending on such electioneering communications, and the name, and address, of any person that contributes more than two hundred and fifty dollars per year to such person described in this section for an electioneering communication. In the case where the person is a natural person, such reports shall also include the occupation and employer of such natural person. The last such report shall be filed thirty days after the applicable election.

(2) Notwithstanding any section to the contrary, it shall be unlawful for a corporation or labor organization to provide funding for an electioneering communication; except that any political committee or small donor committee established by such corporation or labor organization may provide funding for an electioneering communication.

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Section 7. Disclosure.

The disclosure requirements relevant to candidate committees, political committees, issue committees, and political parties, that are currently set forth in section 1-45-108, C.R.S., or any successor section, shall be extended to include small donor committees. The disclosure requirements of section 1-45-108, C.R.S., or any successor section, shall be extended to require disclosure of the occupation and employer of each person who has made a contribution of one hundred dollars or more to a candidate committee, political committee, issue committee, or political party. For purposes of this section and 1-45-108, C.R.S., or any successor section, a political party shall be treated as separate entities at the state, county, district, and local levels.

 

Section 8. Filing - where to file - timeliness.

The secretary of state shall promulgate rules relating to filing in accordance with article 4 of title 24, C.R.S., or any successor section. The rules promulgated pursuant to this section shall extend section 1- 45-109, C.R.S., or any successor section to apply to small donor committees.

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Section 9. Duties of the secretary of state - enforcement.

(1) The secretary of state shall:

(a) Prepare forms and instructions to assist candidates and the public in complying with the reporting requirements of this article and make such forms and instructions available to the public, municipal clerks, and county clerk and recorders free of charge;

(b) Promulgate such rules, in accordance with Article 4 of title 24, C.R.S., or any successor section, as may be necessary to administer and enforce any provision of this Article;

(c) Prepare forms for candidates to declare their voluntary acceptance of the campaign spending limits set forth in section 4 of this Article. Such forms shall include an acknowledgment that the candidate voluntarily accepts the applicable spending limit and that the candidate swears to abide by those spending limits. These forms shall be signed by the candidate under oath, notarized, filed with the secretary of state, and available to the public upon request;

(d) Maintain a filing and indexing system consistent with the purposes of this Article;

(e) Make the reports and statements filed with the secretary of state's office available immediately for public inspection and copying. The secretary of state may charge a reasonable fee for providing copies of reports. No information copied from such reports shall be sold or used by any person for the purpose of soliciting contributions or for any commercial purpose;

(f) Refer any complaints filed against any candidate for the office of secretary of state to the attorney general. Any administrative law judge employed pursuant to this section shall be appointed pursuant to part 10 of Article 30 of title 24, C.R.S., or any successor section. Any hearing conducted by an administrative law judge employed pursuant to subsection (2) of this section shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of section 24-4-105, C.R.S., or any successor section.

(2) (a) Any person who believes that a violation of section 3, section 4, section 5, section 6, section 7, or section 9 (1) (e), of this Article, or of sections 1-45-108, 1-45-114, 1-45-115, or 1-45-117 C.R.S., or any successor sections, has occurred may file a written complaint with the secretary of state no later than one hundred eighty days after the date of the alleged violation. The secretary of state shall refer the complaint to an administrative law judge within three days of the filing of the complaint. The administrative law judge shall hold a hearing within fifteen days of the referral of the complaint, and shall render a decision within fifteen days of the hearing. The defendant shall be granted an extension of up to thirty days upon defendant's motion, or longer upon a showing of good cause. If the administrative law judge determines that such violation has occurred, such decision shall include any appropriate order, sanction, or relief authorized by this Article. The decision of the administrative law judge shall be final and subject to review by the court of appeals, pursuant to section 24-4-106 (11), C.R.S., or any successor section. The secretary of state and the administrative law judge are not necessary parties to the review. The decision maybe enforced by the secretary of state, or, if the secretary of state does not file an enforcement action within thirty days of the decision, in a private cause of action by the person filing the complaint. Any private action brought under this section shall be brought within one year of the date of the violation in state district court. The prevailing party in a private enforcement action shall be entitled to reasonable attorneys fees and costs.

(b) The attorney general shall investigate complaints made against any candidate for the office of secretary of state using the same procedures set forth in paragraph (a) of this subsection (2). Complainant shall have the same private right of action as under paragraph (a) of this subsection (2).

(c) A subpoena issued by an administrative law judge requiring the production of documents by an issue committee shall be limited to documents pertaining to contributions to, or expenditures from, the committee's separate account established pursuant to section 3(9) of this Article to support or oppose a ballot issue or ballot question. A subpoena shall not be limited in this manner where such issue committee fails to form a separate account through which a ballot issue or ballot question is supported or opposed.

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Section 10. Sanctions.

(1) Any person who violates any provision of this Article relating to contribution or voluntary spending limits shall be subject to a civil penalty of at least double and up to five times the amount contributed, received, or spent in violation of the applicable provision of this Article. Candidates shall be personally liable for penalties imposed upon the candidate's committee.

(2) (a) The appropriate officer shall impose a penalty of fifty dollars per day for each day that a statement or other information required to be filed pursuant to section 5, section 6, or section 7 of this Article, or sections 1-45-108, 1-45-109 or 1-45-110, C.R.S., or any successor sections, is not filed by the close of business on the day due. Upon imposition of a penalty pursuant to this subsection (2), the appropriate officer shall send the person upon whom the penalty is being imposed proper notification by certified mail of the imposition of the penalty. If an electronic mail address is on file with the secretary of state, the secretary of state shall also provide such notification by electronic mail. Revenues collected from fees and penalties assessed by the secretary of state or revenues collected in the form of payment of the secretary of state's attorney fees and costs pursuant to this Article shall be deposited in the department of state cash fund created in section 24-21-104 (3), C.R.S., or any successor section.

(b) (I) Any person required to file a report with the secretary of state and upon whom a penalty has been imposed pursuant to this subsection (2) may appeal such penalty by filing a written appeal with the secretary of state no later than thirty days after the date on which notification of the imposition of the penalty was mailed to such person's last known address in accordance with paragraph (a) of this subsection (2). Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this subsection (2), the secretary shall refer the appeal to an administrative law judge. Any hearing conducted by an administrative law judge pursuant to this subsection (2) shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of section 24-4-105, C.R.S., or any successor section. The administrative law judge shall set aside or reduce the penalty upon a showing of good cause, and the person filing the appeal shall bear the burden of proof. The decision of the administrative law judge shall be final and subject to review by the court of appeals pursuant to section 24-4-106 (11), C.R.S., or any successor section.

(II) If the administrative law judge finds that the filing of an appeal brought pursuant to subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (b) was frivolous, groundless, or vexatious, the administrative law judge shall order the person filing the appeal to pay reasonable attorney fees and costs of the secretary of state in connection with such proceeding.

(c) Upon receipt by the secretary of state of an appeal pursuant to paragraph (b) of this subsection (2), the secretary shall set aside or reduce the penalty upon a showing of good cause.

(d) Any unpaid debt owing to the state resulting from a penalty imposed pursuant to this subsection (2) shall be collected by the state in accordance with the requirements of section 24-30-202.4, C.R.S., or any successor section.

(3) Failure to comply with the provisions of this article shall have no effect on the validity of any election.

 

Section 11. Conflicting provisions declared inapplicable.

Any provisions in the statutes of this state in conflict or inconsistent with this article are hereby declared to be inapplicable to the matters covered and provided for in this Article.

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Section 12. Repeal of conflicting statutory provisions.

Sections 1-45-103, 1-45-105.3, 1-45-107, 1-45-111, and 1-45-113 are repealed.

 

Section 13. Applicability and effective date.

The provisions of this article shall take effect on December 6, 2002 and be applicable for all elections thereafter. Legislation may be enacted to facilitate its operations, but in no way limiting or restricting the provisions of this Article or the powers herein granted.

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Section 14. Severability.

If any provision of this Article or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the Article which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this Article are declared to be severable.

 

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