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.


  1. Eligibility for nomination
  2. Petition signature requirements
  3. Submit candidate information for petition format creation
  4. Receive approval for petition format
  5. Start circulating petition
  6. Submit petition and candidate acceptance form
  7. Signature verification and notice of sufficiency or insufficiency
  8. Submit audio recording
  9. 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 in the statewide voter registration system. [2]

In order to be eligible to circulate a petition, a person must be 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: Submit candidate information for petition format creation

To receive a petition format to circulate, you must submit your candidacy information to our office so that a petition format will be generated for you. For more details on the petition creation process, please visit the following page:

2020 Unaffiliated & RTD candidate petition format creation request


Step 4: Receive approval for petition format

After our office receives a hard copy proof of the petition format from you, we will notify you of the approval or disapproval of your petition format.

Step 5: Start circulating petition

Candidates may begin circulating approved petition formats beginning on June 1.

Step 6: Submit petition and candidate acceptance form

The completed petition must be filed by 3:00 PM on July 27.  [8]

1. Complete the Candidate Acceptance of Petition Nomination form and have it notarized. [9]

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. [10]

2. Attach the notarized acceptance form to the completed petition. [11]

3. Mail or hand deliver to:

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

Step 7: 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. [12]

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 8: 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. [13]

Audio Recording Instructions.


Step 9:  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] 1-4-802(1)(d)(I), C.R.S.
[8] 1-4-802(1)(f)(I), C.R.S.
[9] 1-4-906, C.R.S.
[10] 1-4-906 & 1-5-407(4), C.R.S.
[11] 1-4-906, C.R.S.
[12] 1-4-908 & 1-4-909(1), C.R.S.
[13] SOS Election Rule 4.6.1