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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 7.5 Mail ballot elections

This is not an official copy of the statutes. Please visit LexisNexis Legal Resources for the most current version.

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Part 1 Mail ballot elections

1-7.5-101. Short title.

This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Mail Ballot Election Act".

1-7.5-102. Legislative declaration.

(1) The general assembly hereby finds, determines, and declares that self-government by election is more legitimate and better accepted as voter participation increases. By enacting this article, the general assembly hereby concludes that it is appropriate to provide for mail ballot elections under specified circumstances.

(2) Recognizing the continued need for in-person voting options through early voting and on election day, the general assembly finds that mail ballot elections conducted by the county clerk and recorder must include voter service and polling centers so voters can register to vote, update voter registration information, and vote in person.

(3) Nothing in this code prevents a political subdivision from conducting an independent mail ballot election in accordance with article 13.5 of this title.

1-7.5-103. Definitions.

As used in this article 7.5, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) "Designated election official" means official as defined in section 1-1-104 (8).

(2) "Election" means any election under the "Uniform Election Code of 1992" or the "Colorado Municipal Election Code of 1965", article 10 of title 31, C.R.S.

(3) "Election day" means the date either established by law or determined by the governing body of the political subdivision conducting the election, to be the final day on which all ballots are determined to be due, and the date from which all other dates in this article are set.

(3.5) "Independent mail ballot election" has the meaning set forth in section 1-13.5-1102.

(4) "Mail ballot election" means an election for which eligible electors receive ballots by mail and vote by mailing those ballots, depositing the ballots at, as applicable, drop-off locations or voter service and polling centers, or, as applicable, by voting at a voter service and polling center. The term does not include an independent mail ballot election.

(5) "Mail ballot packet" means the packet of information provided by the designated election official to eligible electors in the mail ballot election and to persons preregistered to vote pursuant to section 1-2-101 (2) who will be eighteen years of age on the date of the mail ballot election. The packet includes the ballot, instructions for completing the ballot, a return envelope, and, if applicable, a secrecy envelope or sleeve.

(6) "Political subdivision" means a governing subdivision of the state, including counties, municipalities, school districts, and special districts.

(7) "Return envelope" means an envelope that is printed with spaces for the name and address of, and a self-affirmation to be signed by, an eligible elector voting in a mail ballot election, that contains a ballot for the elector, and that is designed to allow election officials, upon examining the signature, name, and address on the outside of the envelope, to determine whether the enclosed ballot is being submitted by an eligible elector who has not previously voted in that particular election.

(8) "Secrecy envelope" means the envelope or sleeve used for a mail ballot election that contains the eligible elector's ballot for the election, and that is designed to conceal and maintain the confidentiality of the elector's vote until the counting of votes for that particular election.

1-7.5-104. Mail ballot elections - applicability - optional for political subdivisions other than a county.

For all general, primary, odd-year, coordinated, recall, and congressional vacancy elections, the county clerk and recorder shall conduct the election by mail ballot under the supervision of, and subject to rules promulgated in accordance with article 4 of title 24, C.R.S., by, the secretary of state.

1-7.5-104.5. Ballots and supplies for mail voting.

(1) The county clerk and recorder or designated election official shall provide mail ballots, affidavits, certificates, envelopes, instruction cards, and other necessary supplies in the same manner as other election supplies are provided for in all elections and without cost to any eligible elector wishing to vote pursuant to this article.

(2) (a) The ballots must be in the same form as other official ballots for the same election.

(b) The approved form must include, at a minimum:

(I) Instructions to return a copy of identification with the ballot for first-time electors who are required to provide identification in accordance with section 1-2-501;

(II) Information regarding the availability of accessible voting systems in elections coordinated by the county clerk and recorder;

(III) Information regarding how to vote and return the ballot or obtain a replacement; and

(IV) Instructions to include adequate postage.

(3) In counties including more than one state senatorial district or more than one state representative district, or both, mail ballots must be provided in a manner to be determined by the county clerk and recorder for each combination of state legislative districts. Distinctive markings or colors may be used to identify political subdivisions when such colors or distinctive markings will aid in the distribution and tabulation of the ballots. A complete ballot may consist of one or more pages or cards so long as each page or card is numbered and identified as provided for paper ballots in sections 1-5-407 and 1-5-410. This subsection (3) applies to ballots to be cast on voting machines as well as to paper ballots and ballot cards that can be electronically counted.

(4) (a) On the mail ballot instructions, the following statements must be printed: "All ballots are counted in the same manner." and "You must sign the affirmation on the envelope. Do not sign, initial, or print your name on the ballot."

(b) The mail ballot instructions shall contain information on how the elector may verify that his or her mail ballot has been received by the county clerk and recorder or designated election official as provided in section 1-7.5-207.

1-7.5-105. Preelection process.

(1) The county clerk and recorder or designated election official responsible for conducting an election that is to be by mail ballot pursuant to section 1-7.5-104 (1) shall send a proposed election plan for conducting the mail ballot election to the secretary of state no later than fifty-five days prior to a nonpartisan election or, for any mail ballot election that is coordinated with or conducted by the county clerk and recorder, no later than ninety days prior to the election. The proposed plan may be based on the standard plan adopted by the secretary of state by rule.

(1.5) Repealed.

(2) (a) The secretary of state shall approve or disapprove the written plan for conducting a mail ballot election, in accordance with section 1-7.5-106, within fifteen days after receiving the plan and shall provide a written notice to the affected political subdivision.

(b) Repealed.

(3) The county clerk and recorder or designated election official shall supervise the distribution, handling, and counting of ballots and the survey of returns in accordance with rules promulgated by the secretary of state as provided in section 1-7.5-106 (2) and shall take the necessary steps to protect the confidentiality of the ballots cast and the integrity of the election.

(4) No elector information shall be delivered in the form of a sample ballot.

1-7.5-106. Secretary of state - duties and powers.

(1) In addition to any other duties prescribed by law, the secretary of state, with advice from election officials of the several political subdivisions, shall:

(a) Prescribe the form of materials to be used in the conduct of mail ballot elections; except that all mail ballot packets shall include a ballot, instructions for completing the ballot, and a return envelope;

(b) Establish procedures for conducting mail ballot elections; except that the procedures shall be consistent with section 1-7.5-107;

(c) Supervise the conduct of mail ballot elections by the election officials as provided in section 1-7.5-105 (3).

(2) In addition to other powers prescribed by law, the secretary of state may adopt rules governing procedures and forms necessary to implement this article and may appoint any county clerk and recorder as an agent of the secretary to carry out the duties prescribed in this article.

1-7.5-106.5. Registration record - list of mail ballots.

(1) Before any mail ballot is delivered or mailed or before any eligible elector is permitted to cast a vote at an election where the county clerk and recorder is the designated election official, the designated election official shall record the date the ballot is delivered or mailed in the statewide voter registration database.

(2) For nonpartisan elections coordinated by the county clerk and recorder, voters shall be recorded in the statewide voter registration database.

(3) The county clerk and recorder or designated election official shall record in the statewide voter registration system created in section 1-2-301 (1) the names and precinct numbers of eligible electors, together with the date on which the mail ballot was sent and the date on which each mail ballot was returned or otherwise cast. For unaffiliated electors in a primary election, the county clerk and recorder shall record which political party's ballot the elector cast. If a mail ballot is not returned or otherwise cast, or if it is rejected and not counted, that fact must be recorded in the statewide voter registration system. The information is subject to public inspection under applicable laws and rules.

1-7.5-107. Procedures for conducting mail ballot election - primary elections - first-time voters casting a mail ballot after having registered by mail to vote - in-person request for ballot - repeal.

(1) Official ballots shall be prepared and all other preelection procedures followed as otherwise provided by law or rules promulgated by the secretary of state; except that mail ballot packets shall be prepared in accordance with this article.

(2) Repealed.

(2.3) (Deleted, 2016.)

(2.5) Repealed.

(2.7) Subsequent to the preparation of ballots in accordance with section 1-5-402 but prior to the mailing required under subsection (3) of this section, and no sooner than forty-five days nor later than thirty-two days before an election, a designated election official shall provide a mail ballot to a registered elector requesting the ballot at the designated election official's office or the office designated in the mail ballot plan filed with the secretary of state.

(3) (a) (I) Except as provided in subparagraph (II) of this paragraph (a), not sooner than twenty-two days before a general, primary, or other mail ballot election, and no later than eighteen days before the election, the county clerk and recorder or designated election official shall mail to each active eligible elector, at the last mailing address appearing in the registration records and in accordance with United States postal service regulations, a mail ballot packet, which must be marked "DO NOT FORWARD. ADDRESS CORRECTION REQUESTED.", or any other similar statement that is in accordance with United States postal service regulations. Nothing in this subsection (3) affects any provision of this code governing the delivery of mail ballots to an absent uniformed services elector, nonresident overseas elector, or resident overseas elector covered by the federal "Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act", 52 U.S.C. sec. 20301 et seq.

(II) For a primary mail ballot election, the mail ballot packet must be mailed only to active registered electors. If the twenty-second day before an election is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the county clerk and recorder or designated election official may mail ballot packets pursuant to subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (a) on the Friday immediately preceding the twenty-second day.

(b) The ballot or ballot label shall contain the following warning:

WARNING:

Any person who, by use of force or other means, unduly influences an eligible elector to vote in any particular manner or to refrain from voting, or who falsely makes, alters, forges, or counterfeits any mail ballot before or after it has been cast, or who destroys, defaces, mutilates, or tampers with a ballot is subject, upon conviction, to imprisonment, or to a fine, or both.

(b.5) (I) The return envelope shall have printed on it a self-affirmation substantially in the following form:

I state under penalty of perjury that I am an eligible elector; that my signature and name are as shown on this envelope; that I have not and will not cast any vote in this election except by the enclosed ballot; and that my ballot is enclosed in accord with the provisions of the "Uniform Election Code of 1992".

..........................   ..........................

Date Signature of voter

(II) The signing of the self-affirmation on the return envelope shall constitute an affirmation by the eligible elector, under penalty of perjury, that the facts stated in the self-affirmation are true. If the eligible elector is unable to sign, the eligible elector may affirm by making a mark on the self-affirmation, with or without assistance, witnessed by another person.

(III) The return envelope shall not be required to have a flap covering the signature or otherwise impede the use of a signature verification device.

(c) Repealed.

(d) An eligible elector may obtain a replacement ballot if the ballot was destroyed, spoiled, lost, or for some other reason not received by the eligible elector. An eligible elector may obtain a ballot if a mail ballot packet was not sent to the elector because the eligibility of the elector could not be determined at the time the mail ballot packets were mailed. The designated election official shall keep a record of each ballot issued in accordance with this paragraph (d).

(3.5) (a) Unless otherwise provided by section 1-2-201 (5), the requirements of this subsection (3.5) apply to a person who registered to vote in accordance with article 2 of this title and who has not previously voted in an election in Colorado.

(b) Any person who matches either of the descriptions specified in subparagraph (I) or (II) of paragraph (a) of this subsection (3.5) and intends to cast his or her ballot by mail in accordance with this article shall submit with his or her mail ballot a copy of identification within the meaning of section 1-1-104 (19.5).

(c) The county clerk and recorder or designated election official shall include with the mail ballot packet required by paragraph (a) of subsection (3) of this section written instructions advising an elector who matches the description specified in paragraph (a) of this subsection (3.5) of the manner in which the elector shall be in compliance with the requirements contained in paragraph (a) of this subsection (3.5).

(d) Any person who desires to cast his or her ballot by mail but does not satisfy the requirements of paragraph (b) of this subsection (3.5) may cast such ballot by mail. The county clerk and recorder or designated election official shall, within three days after the receipt of a mail ballot that does not contain a copy of identification as defined in section 1-1-104 (19.5), but in no event later than two days after election day, send to the eligible elector at the address indicated in the registration records a letter explaining the lack of compliance with paragraph (b) of this subsection (3.5). If the county clerk and recorder or designated election official receives a copy of identification in compliance with paragraph (b) of this subsection (3.5) within eight days after election day, and if the mail ballot is otherwise valid, the mail ballot shall be counted.

(e) The requirements of this subsection (3.5) shall be implemented by state and local election officials in a uniform and nondiscriminatory manner.

(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the requirements of this subsection (3.5) do not apply to any person who is:

(I) Entitled to vote by absentee ballot under the federal "Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act", 52 U.S.C. sec. 20301 et seq.;

(II) Provided the right to vote otherwise than in person under section (b)(2)(B)(ii) of the federal "Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act", 52 U.S.C. sec. 20102 et seq.; or

(III) Entitled to vote otherwise than in person under any other federal law.

(4) (a) Upon receipt of a ballot, the eligible elector shall mark the ballot, sign and complete the self-affirmation on the return envelope, enclose identification if required by subsection (3.5) of this section, and comply with the instructions provided with the ballot.

(b) (I) The eligible elector may:

(A) Return the marked ballot to the county clerk and recorder or designated election official by United States mail or by depositing the ballot at the office of the county clerk and recorder or designated election official or any voter service and polling center or drop-off location designated by the county clerk and recorder or designated election official as specified in the mail ballot plan filed with the secretary of state. The ballot must be returned in the return envelope.

(B) Deliver the ballot to any person of the elector's own choice or to any duly authorized agent of the county clerk and recorder or designated election official for mailing or personal delivery; except that no person other than a duly authorized agent of the county clerk and recorder or designated election official may receive more than ten mail ballots in any election for mailing or delivery; or

(C) Cast his or her vote in person at the voter service and polling center.

(II) If an eligible elector returns the ballot by mail, the elector must provide postage. The ballot shall be received at the office of the county clerk and recorder or designated election official or a designated drop-off location, which shall remain open until 7 p.m. on election day. All envelopes containing mail ballots must be in the hands of the county clerk and recorder or designated election official no later than 7 p.m. on the day of the election. Mail ballot envelopes received after 7 p.m. on the day of the election but postmarked on or before the day of the election will remain sealed and uncounted, but the elector's registration record shall not be canceled for failure to vote in a general election. For an election coordinated by the county clerk and recorder, the drop-off location other than secure drop boxes shall be designated by the county clerk and recorder and located in a secure place under the supervision of a municipal clerk, an election judge, or a member of the clerk and recorder's staff. For a mail ballot election not coordinated by the county clerk and recorder, the drop-off location shall be designated by the designated election official and located in a secure place under the supervision of the designated election official, an election judge, or another person designated by the designated election official.

(III) A person who delivers a ballot on behalf of an elector pursuant to sub-subparagraph (B) of subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (b) is not deemed to be voting more than once pursuant to section 1-13-710.

(IV) Nothing in subparagraph (II) of this paragraph (b) affects or supersedes provisions regarding the timely casting and counting of ballots under section 1-8.3-111 or 1-8.3-113.

(c) and (d) Repealed.

(4.3) (a) For any election, other than a general election, for which a county clerk and recorder is the designated election official, there must be a minimum number of mail ballot drop-off locations where mail ballots may be deposited equal to at least one drop-off location for each thirty thousand active registered electors in the county; except that, if the district or political subdivision for which the election is being conducted is less populous than the county, the county clerk and recorder shall designate at least one mail ballot drop-off location for each thirty thousand current active registered electors eligible to vote in that election. The drop-off locations shall be arrayed throughout the county in a manner that provides the greatest convenience to electors.

(b) The minimum number of drop-off locations described in paragraph (a) of this subsection (4.3) shall accept mail ballots delivered by electors during, at a minimum, the four days prior to and including the day of the election; except that mail ballots are not required to be accepted on Sundays. Mail ballots shall be accepted from electors at drop-off locations during, at a minimum, reasonable business hours.

(4.5) (a) (I) For any primary or November coordinated election, the county clerk and recorder shall designate voter service and polling centers equal to no fewer than the number of county motor vehicle offices in the county; except that each county shall have no fewer than one voter service and polling center, and, for counties with fewer than twenty-five thousand active electors, as that term is described in subparagraph (II) of this paragraph (a), only one voter service and polling center is required. The county clerk and recorder may add additional voter service and polling center locations as necessary.

(II) (A) Repealed.

(B) On and after November 8, 2016, for the purposes of subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (a), the number of active electors in a county is the number of active electors registered in the county on the date of the previous presidential election.

(C) Repealed.

(b) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2013.)

(b.5) For any election, other than a general, primary, or November coordinated election, for which the county clerk and recorder is the designated election official, the county clerk and recorder shall designate at least one voter service and polling center for each thirty thousand current active registered electors who are eligible to vote in that election.

(c) The minimum number of voter service and polling centers shall be open during, at a minimum, the eight days prior to and including the day of the election; except that voter service and polling centers are not required to be open on Sundays.

(d) In designating voter service and polling centers under this subsection (4.5), a county clerk and recorder shall take into account the factors described under section 1-5-102.9 (1)(c)(I).

(5) (a) Once the ballot is returned, an election judge shall first qualify the submitted ballot by comparing the information on the return envelope with the registration records to determine whether the ballot was submitted by an eligible elector who has not previously voted in the election. If the ballot so qualifies and is otherwise valid, the election judge shall indicate in the pollbook that the eligible elector cast a ballot and deposit the ballot in an official ballot box.

(b) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2010, (HB 10-1116), ch. 194, p. 834, § 20, effective May 5, 2010.)

(c) For any election conducted with or coordinated by a county clerk and recorder, the signature of the eligible elector on the return envelope shall be compared with the signature of the eligible elector on file in the office of the county clerk and recorder or in the statewide voter registration system in accordance with section 1-7.5-107.3.

(6) All deposited ballots shall be counted as provided in this article and by rules promulgated by the secretary of state. A mail ballot is valid and shall be counted only if it is returned in the return envelope, the self-affirmation on the return envelope is signed and completed by the eligible elector to whom the ballot was issued, and the information on the return envelope is verified in accordance with subsection (5) of this section. Mail ballots shall be counted in the same manner provided by section 1-7-307 for counting paper ballots or section 1-7-507 for counting electronic ballots. If the election official determines that an eligible elector to whom a replacement ballot has been issued has returned more than one ballot, the first ballot received is the accepted ballot. All candidates and issues for which the voter is eligible to vote will be counted on the accepted ballot. Rejected ballots shall be handled in the same manner as provided in sections 1-7.5-204 and 1-7.5-210.

(7) If, by the close of polls, an elector deposits a ballot at a drop-off location in a county in which the elector does not reside, the county clerk and recorder, upon discovering that fact, shall timely deliver the ballot to the county clerk and recorder of the county in which the elector resides, who shall accept the ballot for processing.

1-7.5-107.2. Manner of early voting - securing ballots cast during early voting.

(1) An eligible elector who receives a mail ballot may cast the ballot at a voter service and polling center prior to election day. Ballot boxes must be locked and sealed each night with a numbered seal under the supervision of the election judges or watchers, and the designated election official shall retain possession of the keys until he or she transfers the same to the counting place pursuant to section 1-7.5-203 for preparation to count and tabulate. When a seal is broken, the designated election official and a person who is not of the same political party as the designated election official shall record the number of the seal and maintain the seal along with an explanation of the reasons for breaking the seal.

(2) (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection (2), the voting machines, electronic voting machines, or ballot boxes must remain locked and secured with a numbered seal, and the tabulation of the votes cast must remain unknown until the time prescribed in section 1-7.5-202 for counting voters' ballots. Alternatively, except for electronic voting equipment and mail ballot boxes, the ballot boxes must be opened each night, and the voted ballots must be placed in a transfer case that is locked and secured with a numbered seal. A record must be maintained consisting of the date and seal number of each ballot box and transfer case until each ballot box and transfer case is transferred pursuant to section 1-7.5-203 for preparation for counting and tabulating. When a seal is broken, the designated election official and a person who is not of the same political party as the designated election official shall record the number of the seal and maintain the seal along with an explanation of the reasons for breaking the seal. During the time the voter service and polling center is not open, the designated election official shall have the custody and keys of any voting machine or electronic voting equipment being used for the casting of ballots.

(b) The designated election official shall place in a locked and secured location all direct record electronic voting machine cartridges that record votes cast on such voting machines. The tabulation of votes cast and recorded on such cartridges must remain unknown until the time prescribed in section 1-7.5-202 for counting ballots.

1-7.5-107.3. Verification of signatures - rules.

(1) (a) Except as provided in subsection (5) of this section, in every mail ballot election that is coordinated with or conducted by the county clerk and recorder, an election judge shall compare the signature on the self-affirmation on each return envelope with the signature of the eligible elector stored in the statewide voter registration system in accordance with subsections (2), (3), and (4) of this section.

(b) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2008, p. 356, 2, effective April 10, 2008.)

(2) (a) If, upon comparing the signature of an eligible elector on the self-affirmation on the return envelope with the signature of the eligible elector stored in the statewide voter registration system, the election judge determines that the signatures do not match, or if a signature verification device used pursuant to subsection (5) of this section is unable to determine that the signatures match, two other election judges of different political party affiliations shall simultaneously compare the signatures. If both other election judges agree that the signatures do not match, the county clerk and recorder shall, within three days after the signature deficiency has been confirmed, but in no event later than two days after election day, send to the eligible elector at the address indicated in the registration records a letter explaining the discrepancy in signatures and a form for the eligible elector to confirm that the elector returned a ballot to the county clerk and recorder. If the county clerk and recorder receives the form within eight days after election day confirming that the elector returned a ballot to the county clerk and recorder and enclosing a copy of the elector's identification as defined in section 1-1-104 (19.5), and if the ballot is otherwise valid, the ballot shall be counted. If the eligible elector returns the form indicating that the elector did not return a ballot to the county clerk and recorder, or if the eligible elector does not return the form within eight days after election day, the self-affirmation on the return envelope shall be categorized as incorrect, the ballot shall not be counted, and the county clerk and recorder shall send copies of the eligible elector's signature on the return envelope and the signature stored in the statewide voter registration system to the district attorney for investigation.

(b) An original return envelope containing a voted ballot that is not counted in accordance with subsection (2)(a) of this section shall be stored under seal in the office of the county clerk and recorder in a secure location separate from valid return envelopes and may be removed only under the authority of the district attorney or by order of a court having jurisdiction.

(c) In the case of a disagreement among the election judges as to whether the signature of an eligible elector on the self-affirmation on the return envelope matches the signature of the eligible elector stored in the statewide voter registration system pursuant to the procedures specified in paragraph (a) of this subsection (2), the signatures are deemed to match, and the election judge shall follow the procedures specified in section 1-7.5-107 (6) concerning the qualification and counting of mail ballots.

(3) If the election judge determines that the signature of an eligible elector on the self-affirmation matches the elector's signature stored in the statewide voter registration system, the election judge shall follow the procedures specified in section 1-7.5-107 (6) concerning the qualification and counting of mail ballots.

(4) (a) An election judge shall not determine that the signature of an eligible elector on the self-affirmation does not match the signature of that eligible elector stored in the statewide voter registration system solely on the basis of substitution of initials or use of a common nickname.

(b) The county clerk and recorder shall provide training in the technique and standards of signature comparison to election judges who compare signatures pursuant to this section.

(5) (a) A county clerk and recorder may allow an election judge to use a signature verification device to compare the signature on the self-affirmation on a return envelope of an eligible elector's ballot with the signature of the elector stored in the statewide voter registration system in accordance with this subsection (5) and any rules promulgated by the secretary of state pursuant to subsection (6) of this section.

(b) If a signature verification device determines that the signature on the self-affirmation on a return envelope of an eligible elector's ballot matches the signature of the elector stored in the statewide voter registration system, the signature on the self-affirmation is deemed verified, and the election judge shall follow the procedures specified in section 1-7.5-107 (6) concerning the qualification and counting of mail ballots. If a signature verification device is unable to determine that the signature on the self-affirmation on a return envelope of an eligible elector's mail ballot matches the signature of the elector stored in the statewide voter registration system, an election judge shall compare the signatures in accordance with subsections (2), (3), and (4) of this section.

(5.5) The county clerk and recorder shall ensure the privacy of each elector's vote when election judges are removing and separating marked ballots from return envelopes. If the county clerk and recorder chooses not to include a secrecy envelope or sleeve in the mail ballot packet, he or she must notify the secretary of state in the election plan required under section 1-7.5-105 (1) and must also explain the county's process for ensuring the privacy of marked ballots. The secretary of state shall promulgate rules to ensure the privacy of each elector's vote.

(6) The secretary of state shall adopt rules in accordance with article 4 of title 24, C.R.S., establishing procedures for using signature verification devices to process ballots used in mail ballot elections pursuant to this article.

1-7.5-107.5. Counting mail ballots.

The election officials at the mail ballot counting place may receive and prepare mail ballots delivered and turned over to them by the designated election official for tabulation. Counting of the mail ballots may begin fifteen days prior to the election and continue until counting is completed. The election official in charge of the mail ballot counting place shall take all precautions necessary to ensure the secrecy of the counting procedures, and no information concerning the count shall be released by the election officials or watchers until after 7 p.m. on election day.

1-7.5-108. Mail-in ballots. (Repealed)

1-7.5-108.5. Designation of inactive status in connection with mailing of mail ballots.

In connection with any election conducted on or after May 10, 2013, if a mail ballot sent to a registered elector is returned by the United States postal service as undeliverable, the county clerk and recorder shall mark the registration record of that elector with the word "Inactive". The clerk and recorder shall mail a confirmation card pursuant to section 1-2-605 to any elector whose ballot was returned by the United States postal service as undeliverable.

1-7.5-109. Write-in candidates.

A write-in candidate is allowed in mail ballot elections if the candidate has filed an affidavit of intent with the designated election official pursuant to section 1-4-1101. Ballots for write-in candidates are counted pursuant to section 1-7.5-206.

1-7.5-110. Challenges.

Votes cast pursuant to this article may be challenged pursuant to and in accordance with law. Any mail ballot election held pursuant to this article shall not be invalidated on the grounds that an eligible elector did not receive a ballot so long as the designated election official for the political subdivision conducting the election acted in good faith in complying with the provisions of this article or with rules promulgated by the secretary of state.

1-7.5-111. Report to the general assembly. (Repealed)

1-7.5-112. Repeal of article. (Repealed)

1-7.5-113. Voting at group residential facilities.

(1) If a group residential facility does not have mail boxes in which a representative of the United States postal service may directly deposit mail, and more than seven mail ballots are to be sent to that group residential facility, a committee consisting of one employee of the county clerk and recorder of the county in which the facility is located and, where available, a representative appointed by each of the major political parties shall deliver the mail ballots and return the voted ballots to the office of the county clerk and recorder.

(2) For nonpartisan elections, including independent mail ballot elections conducted pursuant to part 11 of article 13.5 of this title, the designated election official shall appoint a committee that consists of two or more election judges or employees or representatives of the designated election official. The voted ballots must be returned to the office of the designated election official.

1-7.5-114. Watchers at voter service and polling centers.

Any political party, candidate, proponents, or opponents of a ballot issue entitled to have watchers at voter service and polling centers each has the right to maintain one watcher in the office of the designated election official and each voter service and polling center during the period in which mail ballots may be applied for or received.

1-7.5-115. Emergency voting - replacement ballots - electronic transfer - rules - definition.

(1) (a) (I) (A) If an eligible elector or a member of an eligible elector's immediate family, related to the second degree by blood, adoption, marriage, or civil union partnership, is confined in a hospital or place of residence on election day, or if, due to emergency conditions such as natural disasters arising after the deadlines by which ballots are mailed, the elector is unable to vote in person, the elector may request in a personally signed written statement that the county clerk and recorder or designated election official send a replacement ballot. The county clerk and recorder or designated election official shall provide the replacement ballot, at the office of the county clerk and recorder or designated election official during the office's regular hours of business, to any authorized representative of the elector.

(B) For the purposes of this paragraph (a), "authorized representative" means a person who possesses a written statement from the elector containing the elector's signature, name, and address of residence and indicating that the elector is unable to vote in person after the last day to mail a ballot and requesting that the replacement ballot be given to the authorized person as identified by name and address of residence.

(II) The authorized person shall acknowledge receipt of the replacement ballot with a signature, name, and address of residence.

(b) A request for a replacement ballot under this section shall be made before 5 p.m. on the day of the election, and the ballot must be returned no later than 7 p.m. on the day of the election.

(c) If the eligible elector is unable to have an authorized representative pick up the ballot at the office of the county clerk and recorder or designated election official and deliver it to the eligible elector, the designated election official shall deliver a replacement ballot to the eligible elector by electronic transfer in accordance with the rules of the secretary of state. If the replacement ballot is delivered to the eligible elector by electronic transfer, the eligible elector may return the ballot by electronic transfer as set forth in subsection (4) of this section.

(2) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (4) of this section, after marking the replacement ballot, the eligible elector shall place it in a return envelope provided by the county clerk and recorder or designated election official. The elector shall then fill out and sign the self-affirmation on the envelope, as provided in section 1-7.5-107, on or before election day and return it to the office of the county clerk and recorder or designated election official. Upon receipt of the envelope, the county clerk and recorder or designated election official shall verify the elector's name on the return envelope and shall deposit the envelope in the office in a ballot box that is locked and secured with a numbered seal.

(3) If, following the procedure set forth in this section, the county clerk and recorder or designated election official is unable to provide a replacement ballot to an elector, the county clerk and recorder or designated election official shall provide a replacement ballot to the elector by electronic transfer in accordance with the election rules of the secretary of state. If the replacement ballot is delivered to the eligible elector by electronic transfer, the eligible elector may return the ballot by electronic transfer as set forth in subsection (4) of this section.

(4) (a) If a replacement ballot is delivered to an eligible elector by electronic transfer pursuant to paragraph (c) of subsection (1) of this section or subsection (3) of this section, the eligible elector may return the voted ballot to the county clerk and recorder or designated election official by electronic transfer. In order to be counted, the returned ballot must be received in the office of the county clerk and recorder or designated election official by 7 p.m. on election day. Once the ballot is received, a bipartisan team of judges shall duplicate the ballot, and the ballot shall be counted in the same manner as all other mail ballots. Such judges shall not reveal how the elector has cast his or her ballot.

(b) Any elector who receives a replacement ballot by electronic transfer pursuant to paragraph (c) of subsection (1) of this section or subsection (3) of this section shall be informed in the instructions for completing the ballot that, if the ballot is returned by electronic transfer, the ballot will not be a confidential ballot.

(c) In handling a returned replacement ballot pursuant to this subsection (4), all reasonable means shall be taken to ensure that only the judges are aware of information connecting the elector to the returned ballot.

(d) The secretary of state may prescribe by rule any procedures or requirements as may be necessary to implement this subsection (4). The rules must be promulgated in accordance with article 4 of title 24, C.R.S.

1-7.5-116. Applications for absentee ballot. (Repealed)

 

Part 2 Counting mail ballots

1-7.5-201. Appointment of election judges for counting mail ballots.

(1) If the county clerk and recorder or designated election official has mailed or delivered mail ballots to five hundred or more electors, the county clerk and recorder or designated election official shall appoint, in addition to the voter service and polling center judges appointed to staff voter service and polling centers described in section 1-7.5-107, at least three counting judges, not more than two of whom shall be from any one major political party. For each additional five hundred mail ballots so mailed or delivered, the county clerk and recorder or designated election official may appoint additional counting judges as needed.

(2) In all political subdivisions in which electronic or electromechanical voting systems are used, the county clerk and recorder or designated election official, for each five hundred mail ballots mailed or delivered, may appoint, in addition to the voter service and polling center judges appointed to staff voter service and polling centers as described in section 1-7.5-107, five counting judges, not more than three of whom shall be from any one major political party in a partisan election.

(3) In political subdivisions to which this section applies and in the event that only two major political parties are represented, the county clerk and recorder or designated election official shall make the appointments so that one major political party is represented by a majority of election judges on the mail ballot receiving board and the other major political party is represented by a majority of election judges on the mail ballot counting board. The county clerk and recorder or designated election official shall appoint those electors certified by the county party chairpersons of the major political parties to the county clerk and recorder as mail ballot receiving judges and mail ballot counting judges. If an elector certified by a major political party is not willing or able to serve, then the major political party that certified the elector may certify a replacement judge to the county clerk and recorder. If the major political parties do not certify a sufficient number of mail ballot receiving and counting judges, the county clerk and recorder may appoint a sufficient number of qualified electors to serve as mail ballot receiving and counting judges.

(4) In all political subdivisions to which this section applies, where the county clerk and recorder or designated election official has appointed one or more student election judges pursuant to article 6 of this title, the student election judge shall be appointed to serve as a judge for the purpose of counting mail ballots pursuant to this section; except that the student election judge need not satisfy any party affiliation required of election judges by this section.

1-7.5-202. Hours a counting place open for receiving and counting mail ballots.

(1) The election officials at the counting place may receive and prepare for tabulation mail ballots delivered and turned over to them by the county clerk and recorder or designated election official.

(2) Counting of the mail ballots may begin fifteen days prior to the election and shall continue until counting is completed.

(3) The election officials in charge of the counting place shall take all precautions necessary to ensure the secrecy of the counting procedures, and no information concerning the count may be released by the election officials or watchers until after 7 p.m. on election day.

1-7.5-203. Delivery of mail ballots to supervisor judge.

At any time during the fifteen days prior to and including the election day, the county clerk and recorder or designated election official shall deliver to the counting place judges all the mail ballot envelopes received up to that time in packages or in ballot boxes that are locked and secured with a numbered seal, and the record of mail ballots as provided for in section 1-7.5-106.5 (3) for which a receipt will be given. The county clerk and recorder or designated election official shall continue to deliver any envelopes containing mail ballots that may be received thereafter up to and including 7 p.m. on election day.

1-7.5-204. Preparing to count mail ballots - rejections.

(1) (a) Before opening any mail ballot, one of the receiving judges, in the presence of a majority of the receiving judges, shall inspect the self-affirmation on the return envelope.

(b) The self-affirmation is valid if:

(I) The self-affirmation was completed by the elector;

(II) The self-affirmation was signed by the elector or, if the elector is unable to sign, marked by the elector with or without assistance and witnessed by another person; and

(III) In any election conducted by a county clerk and recorder, the signature on the self-affirmation matches the signature stored in the statewide voter registration system, or the eligible elector's marks on the application and the self-affirmation were witnessed by other persons.

(c) If the self-affirmation is valid, the receiving judge shall open the envelope without defacing the self-affirmation or mutilating the enclosed ballot.

(d) For the purposes of subparagraph (III) of paragraph (b) of this subsection (1), the signatures on an eligible elector's self-affirmation and stored in the statewide voter registration system shall be compared in the manner prescribed by section 1-7.5-107.3.

(2) If the self-affirmation on the return envelope is invalid, the election judges shall mark the envelope "rejected" and shall write on the envelope the reason for the rejection. The envelope shall be set aside without being opened, and the ballot, if cured, shall be counted.

(3) If it appears to the election judges, by sufficient proof, that a mail ballot sent to an elector who died before receiving the ballot contains a forged affidavit, the envelope containing the ballot of the deceased voter shall not be opened, and the election judges shall make notation of the death and fraudulent signature on the back of the envelope. The ballot shall be forwarded to the district attorney for investigation of a violation of section 1-13-106. If a mail ballot envelope contains more than one marked ballot of any one kind, none of the ballots shall be counted, and the election judges shall write the reason for rejection.

1-7.5-205. Counting mail ballots.

(1) Mail ballots and any ballots cast at a voter service and polling center in lieu of a mail ballot must be counted after delivery of the ballots as provided in section 1-7.5-203 and after preparation of the ballots as provided in section 1-7.5-204.

(2) Mail ballots must be counted in one of the following ways:

(a) In counties that use paper ballots, the mail ballots may be counted in the same manner as paper ballots.

(b) Any county may use electronic vote-tabulating equipment for the counting of mail ballots in the same manner provided for the counting of ballots in part 6 of article 5 and parts 4 and 5 of article 7 of this title.

(c) Ballots that are cast directly on electronic or electromechanical vote-tabulating equipment at a voter service and polling center in lieu of a mail ballot shall be counted in the same manner as provided for the counting of ballots in part 6 of article 5 and parts 4 and 5 of article 7 of this title.

1-7.5-206. Paper ballots or electronic system.

In political subdivisions using a ballot card electronic voting system, mail ballots may be cast on paper ballots or may be cast on ballot cards and counted by electronic voting equipment, or both methods may be used.

1-7.5-207. Voter verification - mail ballot information.

Each county clerk and recorder shall provide electors, upon request, with information on whether the mail ballot cast by the elector was received by the county clerk and recorder, including an online mail ballot tracking system or response by other electronic or telephonic means.

1-7.5-208. Certificate of mail ballots cast - survey of returns.

(1) Repealed.

(2) Upon the survey of the returns of the political subdivision by the board of canvassers formed pursuant to section 1-10-101 or 1-10-201, the board shall include in its abstract of votes the votes cast in the voter service and polling center and counted at the counting place in the manner provided for abstracting votes cast and counted in accordance with article 10 of this title.

(3) (a) (I) The returns certified by the judges and the abstract of votes cast certified by the canvass board shall, except as provided in subparagraph (II) of this paragraph (a), indicate the number of votes cast in each precinct for each candidate and for and against each ballot issue and ballot question and the number of ballots rejected, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection (3).

(II) For primary and coordinated elections, the judges and canvass board shall either:

(A) Certify the votes cast in each precinct pursuant to subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (a); or

(B) Certify on the returns and the abstract of votes cast the number of votes cast on each ballot style for each candidate and for and against each ballot issue and ballot question and the number of ballots rejected.

(b) If the total number of votes cast and counted in any precinct is less than ten, the returns for all such precincts in the political subdivision shall be reported together.

1-7.5-209. Preservation of rejected mail ballots.

All identification envelopes and mail ballots rejected by the election judges in accordance with section 1-7.5-204 must be returned to the designated election official. All mail ballots received by the county clerk and recorder or designated election official after 7 p.m. on the day of the election, together with the rejected mail ballots returned by the election judges as provided in this section, must remain in the sealed identification envelopes and may be destroyed as provided in section 1-7-802.

1-7.5-210. Maintenance of mail ballot election voting records - transmittal of such records to secretary of state.

The county clerk and recorder or designated election official shall maintain a record identifying the name and voting address of each elector who casts a ballot by mail or at a voter service and polling center at any election.

This is not an official copy of the statutes.  Please visit www.michie.com/colorado for the most current version.