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Colorado Secretary
of State Jena Griswold
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www.sos.state.co.us

Colorado Secretary of State logo - Colorado 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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C.R.S. Title 1 Elections

Article 10 Survey of returns

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Part 1 Survey of returns - partisan elections

1-10-101. Canvass board for partisan elections - appointment, fees, oaths.

(1) (a) At least fifteen days before any primary, general, congressional vacancy, or special legislative election, the county chairpersons of each of the two major political parties in each county shall certify to the county clerk and recorder, in the manner prescribed by such clerk and recorder, the appointment of one or more registered electors to serve as a member of the county canvass board. The appointees, together with the county clerk and recorder, constitute the county canvass board. Each minor political party whose candidate is on the ballot and each unaffiliated candidate whose name is on the ballot in such election may designate, in the manner prescribed by such clerk and recorder, one watcher to observe the work of the county canvass board.

(b) If for any reason an appointee to the county canvass board refuses, fails, or is unable to serve, the appointee shall notify the county clerk and recorder. The county clerk and recorder, by the speediest and most convenient method, shall notify the county chairperson of the political party to which the appointee belongs. The county chairperson shall forthwith appoint another person to the county canvass board. If the political party has no county chairperson or vice-chairperson or if a vacancy in the appointment occurs on the date of the meeting of the county canvass board so that there can be no specific compliance with the provisions of this section, the county clerk and recorder shall make the appointment or shall fill the vacancy as nearly in compliance with the intention of this section as possible.

(2) Each canvass board appointee shall receive a minimum fee of fifteen dollars for each day of service. The fee shall be set by the county clerk and recorder and shall be paid by the county for which the service is performed.

(3) Prior to assuming their duties, the members of the canvass board shall swear or affirm the following: "I, ...................., do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I am a registered elector in precinct ...., in the county of ....................; that I am a registered member of the ..........… party as shown in the statewide voter registration system; and that I will faithfully perform the duties required of a member of the county canvass board."

(4) Any individual serving on a canvass board pursuant to this article is immune from liability in any proceeding that is based on an act or omission of the individual if:

(a) He or she was acting in good faith and within the scope of his or her official functions or duties as specified in this article; and

(b) The violation was not caused by willful or intentional misconduct on the part of the individual.

1-10-101.5. Duties of the canvass board.

(1) The canvass board shall:

(a) Reconcile the ballots cast in an election to confirm that the number of ballots counted in that election does not exceed the number of ballots cast in that election;

(b) Reconcile the ballots cast in each precinct in the county to confirm that the number of ballots cast does not exceed the number of registered electors in the precinct; and

(c) Certify the abstract of votes cast in any election and transmit the certification to the secretary of state. A majority of canvass board members' signatures shall be sufficient to certify the abstract of votes cast in any election. When unable to certify the abstract of votes by the majority of the board for any reason, the canvass board shall transmit the noncertified abstract of votes to the secretary of state along with a written report detailing the reason for noncertification.

1-10-102. Official abstract of votes cast - certification.

(1) No later than the twenty-second day after any election coordinated by the county clerk and recorder, the canvass board shall complete its duties.

(2) (Deleted by amendment, L. 99, p. 479, § 4, effective July 1, 1999.)

(3) If a recount is held and the vote result changes, the county canvass board shall prepare and certify an amended official abstract of votes cast. If the vote result does not change after the recount, the county canvass board shall include a statement to that effect in the official abstract of votes cast.

1-10-103. Transmitting returns to the secretary of state - total of results.

(1) Immediately after the official abstract of votes cast has been certified and no later than the twenty-second day after any general or primary election or any coordinated election that includes a statewide ballot measure, the county clerk and recorder shall transmit to the secretary of state the portion of the abstract of votes cast that contains the statewide abstract of votes cast.

(2) No later than the twenty-seventh day after any primary or general election or any coordinated election that includes a statewide ballot measure, the secretary of state shall compile and total the returns received from all counties for all candidates, ballot issues, and ballot questions certified by the secretary of state, determine if a recount of any office, ballot issue, or ballot question is necessary, and order the appropriate recounts, if any.

(3) Following each general election, the county clerk and recorder shall transmit a list of the names of those candidates elected to county offices to the secretary of state.

1-10-104. Imperfect returns - corrections.

(1) If, in the course of their duties, the canvass board or the secretary of state finds that the method of making or certifying returns from any precinct, county, or district does not conform to the requirements of law, the returns shall nevertheless be canvassed if they are sufficiently explicit in showing how many votes were cast for each candidate, ballot question, or ballot issue.

(2) If the canvass board or the secretary of state finds a clerical error or omission in the returns, the county clerk and recorder, after consultation with the election judges, shall make any correction required by the facts of the case. The election judges shall sign and submit to the canvass board any documentation required for any explanation or verification of the additions or corrections. The canvass board may adjourn from day to day for the purpose of obtaining the additions or corrections.

1-10-104.5. Rules.

The secretary of state shall promulgate rules in accordance with article 4 of title 24, C.R.S., for the purpose of establishing equitable uniformity in the appointment and operation of canvass boards.

1-10-105. Election results - certification by secretary of state.

(1) After receiving the final abstracts of votes cast for all elections from the counties, including any recounts, the secretary of state shall prepare and certify the official statewide election results for all candidates, ballot issues, and ballot questions that the secretary of state certified for the ballot. For each contest, the certified election results must show the total number of votes received, with subtotals for each county in which the candidate was on the ballot, and the ballot wording for each ballot issue and ballot question.

(2) In the event of tie votes, the secretary of state shall include the method of resolving votes and the final result in the statewide abstract of votes cast.

(3) (Deleted by amendment, L. 99, p. 480, § 7, effective July 1, 1999.)

(4) In the event that an accurate and verifiable determination of the count cannot be made and therefore the secretary of state is unable to certify the election of any candidate, the secretary shall issue a report indicating the nature of the irregularity rather than issue a certification.

(5) The secretary of state shall publish on a biennial basis an official abstract of votes cast for all statewide elections held in the year of the general election and include the odd-number year immediately preceding that general election. The abstract shall contain the following information:

(a) All information included in the statewide abstract of votes cast, as provided in subsection (1) of this section;

(b) The names of candidates elected to county offices and the offices for which they were elected, as furnished by the county clerk and recorders;

(c) The reconciled total number of active, registered voters in each county on election day;

(d) Based on the total number of registered voters, the percent of voter turnout in each county; and

(e) Any other information that the secretary of state determines would be interesting or useful to the electorate or other elected officials.

(6) Upon the request of a county clerk and recorder, the secretary of state shall furnish a copy of the complete official biennial statewide abstract of votes to the county clerk and recorder, at no charge, no later than June of the odd-numbered year immediately following the general election.

1-10-106. Summary of election results - statewide elections - early voting.

(1) (a) Within sixty days after a statewide election, the designated election official shall prepare and make available to the public a statement of the total number of votes cast in the election for each candidate and for and against each ballot issue and ballot question on the ballot certified by the designated election official pursuant to section 1-5-203.

(b) and (c) Repealed.

(2) The designated election official may charge a fee for a copy of the statement prepared pursuant to this section in an amount not to exceed the actual cost of making the copy.

(3) The designated election official shall retain all materials used to compile the statement required by this section for a period of at least twenty-five months.

Part 2 Survey of returns - nonpartisan elections

1-10-201. Canvass of nonpartisan elections.

(1) Except as provided for special districts in subsection (1.5) of this section, at least fifteen days before any nonpartisan election that is not coordinated by the county clerk and recorder, the governing body or bodies that called the election shall appoint two registered electors of the political subdivision to serve as members of the canvass board. One of the two persons appointed may be a member of the governing body. The persons so appointed and the designated election official constitute the canvass board for the election. If the election is coordinated between two or more governing bodies, the canvass board shall be appointed in accordance with the intergovernmental agreement between the governing bodies.

(1.5) Unless otherwise directed by the board of directors of a special district, at least fifteen days before any regular special district election, the designated election official shall appoint at least one member of the board of such district and at least one eligible elector of the special district who is not a member of such board to assist the designated election official in the survey of returns. The persons so appointed and the designated election official constitute the board of canvassers for the election.

(2) To the fullest extent possible, no member of the canvass board nor the member's spouse or civil union partner shall have a direct interest in the election.

(3) If for any reason any person appointed as a member of the canvass board refuses, fails, or is unable to serve, that appointed person shall notify the designated election official, who shall appoint another person with the same qualifications, if available, to the canvass board.

(4) Each canvass board member who is not a member of the governing body shall receive a minimum fee of fifteen dollars for each day of service. The fee shall be set by the designated election official and shall be paid by the political subdivision for which the service is performed.

(5) Prior to assuming their duties, the members of the canvass board shall swear or affirm the following: "I, ------------, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I am a registered elector in the county of ------------ and of the state of Colorado and that I will faithfully perform the duties required of a member of the canvass board."

1-10-202. Canvass of votes in coordinated elections.

For any election coordinated by the county clerk and recorder, the canvass board shall be appointed in accordance with the intergovernmental agreement between the governing bodies holding the election.

1-10-203. Official abstract of votes cast - nonpartisan elections.

(1) No later than twenty-two days after an election, the canvass board shall certify to the designated election official the official abstract of votes cast for all candidates, ballot issues, and ballot questions in that election.

(2) If the election is canceled pursuant to section 1-5-208, the designated election official shall note the cancellation and the declared winner on the certified statement of results and the abstract of votes cast, if one is prepared.

(3) If a recount is held and the result of the election changes after the recount, the canvass board shall prepare and certify an amended official abstract of votes cast. If the result of an election subject to a recount does not change after such recount, the canvass board shall include a statement of that fact in the abstract of votes cast.

1-10-204. Imperfect returns.

If the canvass board finds that the method of making or certifying returns from any precinct does not conform to the requirements of law, the returns of the votes cast in that precinct shall nevertheless be canvassed if the returns are sufficiently explicit to enable the canvass board to determine how many votes were cast for each candidate, ballot question, or ballot issue.

1-10-205. Corrections.

If the canvass board finds a clerical error or omission in the returns, the board shall consult with the election judges from whom the returns were received to resolve the discrepancies. The election judges shall submit to the canvass board any documentation for verification of the additions and corrections, and the canvass board shall make any additions and corrections required by the facts of the case. The canvass board may adjourn from day to day for the purpose of obtaining the corrections and additions.

Part 3 Recounts

1-10-301 to 1-10-309. (Repealed)

Article 10.5 Recounts

1-10.5-101. Recounts required - expenses.

(1) (a) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2001, p. 1265, § 1, effective June 5, 2001.)

(b) A recount of any election contest shall be held if the difference between the highest number of votes cast in that election contest and the next highest number of votes cast in that election contest is less than or equal to one-half of one percent of the highest vote cast in that election contest. If there is more than one person to be elected in an election contest, a recount shall be held if the difference between the votes cast for the candidate who won the election with the least votes and the candidate who lost the election with the most votes is less than or equal to one-half of one percent of the votes cast for the candidate who won the election with the least votes. A recount shall occur only after the canvass board certifies the original vote count.

(2) Except as provided in section 1-10.5-106, any expenses incurred in conducting a recount in any political subdivision shall be paid by the entity that certified the candidate, ballot question, or ballot issue for the ballot. Members of the canvass board who assist in any recount shall receive the same fees authorized for counting judges in section 1-6-115.

1-10.5-102. Recounts for congressional, state, and district offices, state ballot questions, and state ballot issues.

(1) If the secretary of state determines that a recount is required for the office of United States senator, representative in congress, any state office or district office of state concern, any state ballot question, or any state ballot issue certified for the ballot by the secretary of state, the secretary of state shall order a complete recount of all the votes cast for that office, state ballot question, or state ballot issue no later than the thirtieth day after the election.

(2) The secretary of state shall notify the county clerk and recorder of each county involved of a public recount to be conducted in the county at a place prescribed by the secretary of state. The recount shall be completed no later than the thirty-fifth day after any election. The secretary of state shall promulgate and provide each county clerk and recorder with the necessary rules to conduct the recount in a fair, impartial, and uniform manner, including provisions for watchers during the recount. Any rule concerning theconduct of a recount must take into account the type of voting system and equipment used by the county in which the recount is to be conducted.

(3) (a) Prior to any recount, the canvass board shall choose at random and test voting devices used in the candidate race, ballot issue, or ballot question that is the subject of the recount. The board shall use the voting devices it has selected to conduct a comparison of the machine count of the ballots counted on each such voting device for the candidate race, ballot issue, or ballot question to the corresponding manual count of:

(I) In the case of an election taking place in a county prior to the date the county has satisfied the requirements of section 1-5-802, the ballots; or

(II) For an election taking place in a county on or after the date the county has satisfied the requirements of section 1-5-802, the voter-verified paper records.

(b) If the results of the comparison of the machine count and the manual count in accordance with the requirements of subparagraph (I) or (II) of paragraph (a) of this subsection (3) are identical, or if any discrepancy is able to be accounted for by voter error, then the recount may be conducted in the same manner as the original ballot count. If the results of the comparison of the machine count and the manual count in accordance with the requirements of subparagraph (I) or (II) of paragraph (a) of this subsection (3) are not identical, or if any discrepancy is not able to be accounted for by voter error, a presumption shall be created that the voter-verified paper records will be used for a final determination unless evidence exists that the integrity of the voter-verified paper records has been irrevocably compromised. The secretary of state shall decide which method of recount is used in each case, based on the secretary's determination of which method will ensure the most accurate count, subject to judicial review for abuse of discretion. Nothing in this subsection (3) shall be construed to limit any person from pursuing any applicable legal remedy otherwise provided by law.

(c) The secretary of state shall promulgate such rules, in accordance with article 4 of title 24, C.R.S., as may be necessary to administer and enforce any requirement of this section, including any rules necessary to provide guidance to the counties in conducting the test of voting devices for the recount required by paragraph (a) of this subsection (3). The rules shall account for:

(I) The number of ballots cast in the candidate race, ballot issue, or ballot question that is the subject of the recount;

(II) An audit of each type of voting device utilized by the county in the candidate race, ballot issue, or ballot question that is the subject of the recount; and

(III) The confidentiality of the ballots cast by the electors in the candidate race, ballot issue, or ballot question that is the subject of the recount.

1-10.5-103. Recount for other offices, ballot issues, and ballot questions in an election coordinated by county clerk and recorder.

In any election coordinated by the county clerk and recorder, if it appears, as evidenced by the official abstract of votes cast, that a recount is required for any office, ballot question, or ballot issue not included in section 1-10.5-102, the county clerk and recorder shall order a recount of the votes cast for the office, ballot question, or ballot issue. Any recount of the votes shall be completed no later than the thirty-fifth day after the election. A political subdivision that referred a ballot issue or ballot question to the electors may waive the automatic recount provisions of this section if the ballot issue or ballot question fails by giving written notice to the county clerk and recorder within twenty-three days after any election.

1-10.5-104. Recount for nonpartisan elections not coordinated by county clerk and recorder.

If it appears, as evidenced by the abstract of votes cast that a recount is required for any office, ballot question, or ballot issue, the designated election official shall order a recount of the votes cast for the office, the ballot issue, or ballot question no later than the twenty-fifth day after the election. Any recount under this section shall be completed no later than the fortieth day after the election.

1-10.5-105. Notice of recount.

Notice prior to the recount shall be given to all candidates and, in the case of a ballot issue or ballot question, any petition representative identified pursuant to section 1-40-113, any governing body, or any agent of an issue committee, if such committee is required to report contributions to the secretary of state pursuant to the "Fair Campaign Practices Act", article 45 of this title, that are affected by the result of the election. Notice shall be given by certified mail and by telephone, facsimile transmission, or personal service.

1-10.5-106. Request for recount by interested party - definitions.

(1) As used in this section, "interested party" means the candidate who lost the election, the political party or political organization of such candidate, any petition representative identified pursuant to section 1-40-113 for a ballot issue or ballot question that did not pass at the election, the governing body that referred a ballot question or ballot issue to the electorate if such ballot question or ballot issue did not pass at the election, or the agent of an issue committee that is required to report contributions pursuant to the "Fair Campaign Practices Act", article 45 of this title, that either supported a ballot question or ballot issue that did not pass at the election or opposed a ballot question or ballot issue that passed at the election.

(2) Whenever a recount is not required, an interested party may submit a notarized written request for a recount at the expense of the interested party making the request. This request shall be filed with the secretary of state, the county clerk and recorder, the designated election official, or other governing body that originally certified the candidate, ballot question, or ballot issue for the ballot within twenty-eight days after any primary, general, or coordinated election. Such election official shall notify the political subdivision within which the election was held no later than the day following receipt of the request. Before conducting the recount, the election official who will conduct the recount shall determine the cost of the recount within one day of receiving the request to recount, notify the interested party that requested the recount of the cost, and collect the costs of conducting the recount. If the request is filed with the secretary of state, the secretary of state shall determine the cost of the recount by adding the individual amounts determined by the political subdivisions conducting the recount. The interested party that requested the recount shall pay the cost of the recount by certified funds to the election official with whom the request for a recount was filed within one day of receiving the election official's cost determination. The funds shall be placed in escrow for payment of all expenses incurred in the recount. If after the recount the result of the election is reversed in favor of the interested party that requested the recount or if the amended election count is such that a recount otherwise would have been required, the payment for expenses shall be refunded to the interested party that requested the recount. Any escrow amounts not refunded to the interested party that requested the recount shall be paid to the election officials who conducted the recount. Any recount of votes pursuant to this section shall be completed no later than the thirty-seventh day after any primary, general, or coordinated election.

1-10.5-107. Canvass board to conduct recount.

(1) Any county clerk and recorder or governing body required to conduct a recount shall arrange to have the recount made by the canvass board who officiated in certifying the official abstract of votes cast. If any member of the canvass board cannot participate in the recount, another person shall be appointed in the manner provided by law for appointment of the members of the original board.

(2) Any canvass board making a recount under the provisions of this section may employ assistants and clerks as necessary for the conduct of the recount.

(3) The canvass board may require the production of any documentary evidence regarding any vote cast or counted and may correct the abstract of votes cast in accordance with its findings based on the evidence presented.

(4) At the conclusion of the recount, the canvass board shall make the returns of all partisan, nonpartisan, ballot issue, and ballot question elections to the designated election official and provide a copy to the persons or groups requesting the recount or notified of the recount pursuant to sections 1-10.5-105 and 1-10.5-106. The canvass board shall meet and issue an amended abstract of votes cast for the office, ballot issue, or ballot question that is the subject of the recount and deliver it to the designated election official.

(5) The designated election official shall notify the governing body of the results of the recount.

1-10.5-108. Method of recount. (Repealed)

1-10.5-109. Challenge of recount.

(1) (a) Any interested party that requested a recount of a county, state, national, or district office of state concern or any party to such recount that has reasonable grounds to believe that the recount is not being conducted in a fair, impartial, and uniform manner may apply to the district court of the city and county of Denver for an order requiring the county clerk and recorder to stop the recount and to give the secretary of state access to all pertinent election records used in conducting the recount, and requiring the secretary of state to conduct the recount. The county clerk and recorder shall be an official observer during any recount conducted by the secretary of state.

(b) Any interested party that requested a recount of any other local office, ballot question, or ballot issue or any party to such recount that has reasonable grounds to believe that the designated election official is not conducting the recount in a fair, impartial, and uniform manner may apply to the district court for the political subdivision for an order requiring the designated election official to stop the recount and to give the appropriate official who will take over conducting the recount access to all pertinent election records, and requiring the appropriate official to conduct the recount. If the county clerk and recorder is not the designated election official, then the county clerk and recorder is the appropriate official to conduct the recount. If the county clerk and recorder is the designated election official, then the secretary of state is the appropriate official to conduct the recount. The designated election official shall be an official observer during any recount conducted pursuant to this subsection (1).

(2) All expenses incurred by the secretary of state in conducting a recount pursuant to subsection (1) of this section shall be paid from the state general fund. Expenses incurred prior to a court order requiring the secretary of state to conduct the recount shall be paid by the county or political subdivision conducting the recount.

1-10.5-110. Procedures for recount on direct recording electronic voting equipment. (Repealed)

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