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Colorado
Secretary of State
Jena Griswold

Colorado Secretary of State logo - Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold

Picture of Secretary of State Jena Griswold

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Colorado Secretary of State logo - cube with a C in it

Colorado
Secretary of State
Jena Griswold

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Initiative Procedures & Guidelines

SoS home > Elections home > Initiatives home > Initiative procedures & guidelines > Appendix

Appendix

Glossary of common terms

Ballot Title: the language that is printed on the ballot that contains the submission clause and title.

Constitutional Amendment: a proposed change to the Colorado Constitution.

Designated Representative: a person designated pursuant to section 1-40-104 to represent the proponents in all matters affecting the petition.

Initiative: a measure proposed by petition of eligible electors to amend or add to the Colorado Constitution or the Colorado Statutes.

Petition Circulator: a person who presents to electors a petition to place a measure on the ballot by initiative or referendum.

Petition Entity: any person or issue committee that provides compensation to a circulator to circulate a ballot petition. [Section 1 40 135, C.R.S.]

Statutory Proposition: a proposed change to the Colorado Revised Statutes.

Submission Clause: phrase that precedes the ballot title after it is set, which asks voters whether the statutory proposition or constitutional amendment should be adopted as proposed.

Procedures regarding petition format approval - statewide initiatives

General process & timeline

  • Designated representatives may submit their request to the Secretary of State’s Office for a petition format to be created at any time after the ballot title has been set by the Title Board.
  • No printer’s proof will receive final approval by the Secretary of State’s Office until the seven day rehearing period has passed. [Section 1 40 107(1), C.R.S.]
  • If a motion for rehearing is filed within seven days, the printer’s proof will not receive final approval by the Secretary of State’s Office until the final decision of the Title Board.
  • If the Title Board’s decision is appealed to the Colorado Supreme Court, the printer’s proof may be submitted to the Secretary of State’s Office for approval and the Secretary of State’s Office shall approve or disapprove the format. However, if the court decision includes changes in the wording of the initiative titles, the format approved for circulation will not be valid and a new format with the newly worded titles would need to be submitted for approval.
  • If the Title Board’s decision is appealed to the Colorado Supreme Court and the petition format has been approved for circulation, signatures may be collected during the appeal process. However, if the court decision includes changes in the wording of the initiative titles, the signatures collected during the appeal process are not valid.

Laws and rules pertaining to initiatives

Colorado constitution: Article V, Section 1

Colorado Revised Statutes: Title 1 (PDF)

Colorado Secretary of State Election Rules: Rule 15 (PDF)

Online resources

General initiative information, including the 2019-2020 Initiative Calendar, is available on the Secretary of State website.

Colorado Secretary of State contact information

If you need more information or further assistance, please contact:

Secretary of State’s Office
1700 Broadway, Suite 200
Denver, CO 80290
Phone: (303) 894-2200 x6333
Fax: (303) 869-4861
www.sos.state.co.us
initiatives@sos.state.co.us