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Colorado
Secretary of State
Jena Griswold

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 7 Conduct of 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 Hours of voting, registration, oaths, and assistance to vote

1-7-101. Hours of voting on election day.

(1) All polling locations shall be opened continuously from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on election day. If a full set of election judges is not present at the hour of 7 a.m. and it is necessary for judges to be appointed to conduct the election as provided in section 1-6-113, the election may commence when two judges who are not of the same political affiliation for partisan elections are present at any hour before the time for closing the polling locations. The polling locations shall remain open after 7 p.m. until every eligible elector who was at the polling location at or before 7 p.m. has been allowed to vote. Any person arriving after 7 p.m. is not entitled to vote.

(2) Upon the opening of the polls, a proclamation shall be made by one of the judges that the polls are open, and, thirty minutes before the closing of the polls, a proclamation shall be made that the polls will close in thirty minutes.

1-7-102. Employees entitled to vote.

(1) Eligible electors entitled to vote at an election shall be entitled to absent themselves for the purpose of voting from any service or employment in which they are then engaged or employed on the day of the election for a period of two hours during the time the polls are open. Any such absence shall not be sufficient reason for the discharge of any person from service or employment. Eligible electors, who so absent themselves shall not be liable for any penalty, nor shall any deduction be made from their usual salary or wages, on account of their absence. Eligible electors who are employed and paid by the hour shall receive their regular hourly wage for the period of their absence, not to exceed two hours. Application shall be made for the leave of absence prior to the day of election. The employer may specify the hours during which the employee may be absent, but the hours shall be at the beginning or end of the work shift, if the employee so requests.

(2) This section shall not apply to any person whose hours of employment on the day of the election are such that there are three or more hours between the time of opening and the time of closing of the polls during which the elector is not required to be on the job.

1-7-103. No voting unless eligible - first-time voters casting a ballot in person after having registered by mail to vote. (Repealed)

1-7-104. Affidavits of eligibility.

In any election where the list of registered electors and property owners is not divided by precinct or where an elector's name is not on the list of registered electors or property owners, an affidavit signed by the eligible elector stating that the elector has not previously voted in the election may be required prior to allowing the elector to cast a ballot.

1-7-105. Watchers at primary elections.

(1) Each political party participating in a primary election shall be entitled to have a watcher in each precinct in the county. The chairperson of the county central committee of each political party shall certify the persons selected as watchers on forms provided by the county clerk and recorder and submit the names of the persons selected as watchers to the county clerk and recorder. To the extent possible, the chairperson shall submit the names by the close of business on the Friday immediately preceding the election.

(2) In addition, candidates for nomination on the ballot of any political party in a primary election shall be entitled to appoint some person to act on their behalf in every precinct in which they are a candidate. Each candidate shall certify the persons appointed as watchers on forms provided by the county clerk and recorder and submit the names of the persons selected as watchers to the county clerk and recorder. To the extent possible, the candidate shall submit the names by the close of business on the Friday immediately preceding the election.

1-7-106. Watchers at general and congressional vacancy elections.

Each participating political party or issue committee whose candidate or issue is on the ballot, and each unaffiliated and write-in candidate whose name is on the ballot for a general or congressional vacancy election, is entitled to have no more than one watcher at any one time in each voter service and polling center in the county and at each place where votes are counted in accordance with this article. The chairperson of the county central committee of each major political party, the county chairperson or other authorized official of each minor political party, the issue committee, or the write-in or unaffiliated candidate shall certify the names of one or more persons selected as watchers on forms provided by the county clerk and recorder and submit the names of the persons selected as watchers to the county clerk and recorder. To the extent possible, the chairperson, authorized official, issue committee, or candidate shall submit the names by the close of business on the Friday immediately preceding the election. The watchers shall surrender the certificates to the election judges at the time they enter the voter service and polling center and are sworn by the judges. This section does not prevent party candidates or county party officers from visiting voter service and polling centers or drop-off locations to observe the progress of voting.

1-7-107. Watchers at nonpartisan elections.

Candidates for office in nonpartisan elections, and proponents and opponents of a ballot issue, are each entitled to appoint one person to act as a watcher in every polling place in which they are a candidate or in which the issue is on the ballot. The candidates or proponents and opponents shall certify the names of persons so appointed to the designated election official on forms provided by the official and submit the names of the persons selected as watchers to the county clerk and recorder. To the extent possible, the candidate, proponent, or opponent shall submit the names by the close of business on the Friday immediately preceding the election.

1-7-108. Requirements of watchers.

(1) Watchers shall take an oath administered by one of the election judges that they are eligible electors, that their name has been submitted to the designated election official as a watcher for this election, and that they will not in any manner make known to anyone the result of counting votes until the polls have closed.

(2) Neither candidates nor members of their immediate families by blood, marriage, or civil union to the second degree may be poll watchers for that candidate.

(3) Each watcher shall have the right to maintain a list of eligible electors who have voted, to witness and verify each step in the conduct of the election from prior to the opening of the polls through the completion of the count and announcement of the results, to challenge ineligible electors, and to assist in the correction of discrepancies.

1-7-109. Judges to keep pollbooks. (Repealed)

1-7-110. Preparing to vote in person.

(1) (a) When an elector appears in person to vote, a signature card containing the elector's name and residential address, as they appear in the statewide voter registration system created in section 1-2-301, shall be completed.

(b) Except as provided in subsection (4) of this section, an eligible elector desiring to vote in person shall show his or her identification as defined in section 1-1-104 (19.5), verify the information that appears on the signature card, sign the signature card, and give the signature card to one of the election judges. An eligible elector who is unable to write may request assistance from one of the election judges, who shall also sign the signature card and witness the eligible elector's mark. The signature card shall provide:

I, ....................., state under penalty of perjury that I am an eligible elector; that my name and sole legal place of residence are as shown on this signature card; and that I have not nor will I cast a ballot by any other means in this election.

(2) If the eligible elector shows his or her identification within the meaning of section 1-1-104 (19.5) and the elector's name is found on the registration list or, where applicable, the property owner's list by the election judge in charge, the judge in charge of the pollbook or list shall enter the eligible elector's name, and the eligible elector shall be allowed to enter the immediate voting area. Besides the election officials, no more than four electors more than the number of voting booths shall be allowed within the immediate voting area at one time.

(2.5) If the elector's qualification to vote is established by the completion of an affidavit, and if the affidavit contains all of the information required in subsection (1) of this section, then the designated election official shall consider the affidavit the signature card.

(3) The election judges shall return the signedsignature cards with other election materials to the designated election official.

(4) An eligible elector who is unable to produce identification may cast a provisional ballot in accordance with article 8.5 of this title.

1-7-111. Electors requiring assistance.

(1) (a) If at any election, any registered elector declares to the election judges that, by reason of disability, inability to read or write, or difficulties with the English language, he or she is unable to prepare the ballot or operate the voting device or electronic voting device without assistance, the elector is entitled, upon making a request, to receive the assistance of any one of the election judges or, at the elector's option, any person selected by the eligible elector requiring assistance.

(b) Any person other than an election judge who assists an eligible elector in the precinct in casting his or her ballot shall first complete the following voter assistance self-affirmation form: "I, ...................., certify that I am the individual chosen by the elector to assist the elector in casting a ballot. I further certify that I will not in any way attempt to persuade or induce the elector to vote in a particular manner, nor will I cast the elector's vote other than as directed by the elector I am assisting.".

(2) and (3) Repealed.

1-7-112. Non-English speaking electors - assistance. (Repealed)

1-7-113. Influencing electors.

No person who assists an elector as authorized by this title shall seek to persuade or induce the eligible elector to vote in a particular manner.

1-7-114. Write-in votes.

(1) Eligible electors may cast a write-in vote for a candidate who has filed an affidavit of intent of write-in candidacy pursuant to section 1-4-1101 by writing the name of the person in the blank space provided for write-in candidates on the ballot. Each write-in vote may include a reasonably correct spelling of a given name, an initial or nickname, or both a given name and an initial or nickname, and shall include the last name of the person for whom the vote is intended. Whenever write-in votes are cast, they shall be counted only when the intention of the elector is clearly apparent.

(2) A vote for a write-in candidate shall not be counted unless that candidate is qualified to hold the office for which the elector's vote was cast.

(3) If the elector has cast more votes for an office than he or she is lawfully entitled to cast, by voting for both a candidate appearing on the ballot and a valid write-in candidate, neither of the votes for the office shall be counted.

(4) (a) The designated election official shall make a list of eligible write-in candidates and provide the list to the election judges. The order of the write-in candidates on such list may be determined by the time of filing the affidavit pursuant to section 1-4-1101.

(b) Except as may be required to accommodate a person with a disability, election judges shall not verbally comment on write-in candidates. Upon request of an eligible elector, an election judge may display to the requesting elector the list of eligible write-in candidates provided to the judges by the designated election official. The list shall not be posted nor may the list be taken into a voting booth.

(c) A designated election official may post the list of eligible write-in candidates on the official website of the designated election official.

1-7-115. Time in voting area.

Eligible electors shall cast their ballots without undue delay and shall leave the immediate voting area as soon as voting is complete. An eligible elector shall not enter a voting booth already occupied by another eligible elector. An eligible elector shall not occupy a voting booth for longer than the time determined by the secretary of state by rule if all the booths are in use and other eligible electors are waiting to use them. No eligible elector whose name has been entered on the pollbook shall be allowed to reenter the immediate voting area during the election, except an election judge.

1-7-116. Coordinated elections - definition.

(1) (a) If more than one political subdivision holds an election on the same day in November and the eligible electors for each such election are the same or the boundaries overlap, the county clerk and recorder is the coordinated election official and, pursuant to section 1-5-401, shall conduct the elections on behalf of all political subdivisions whose elections are part of the coordinated election, utilizing the mail ballot procedure set forth in article 7.5 of this title. As used in this subsection (1), "political subdivision" includes the state, counties, municipalities, school districts, and special districts formed pursuant to title 32, C.R.S.

(b) Paragraph (a) of this subsection (1) does not apply to any political subdivision that conducts a mail ballot election or an independent mail ballot election, as defined in section 1-13.5-1102, using mail ballot procedures set forth in article 7.5 or 13.5 of this title or the "Colorado Municipal Election Code of 1965", article 10 of title 31, C.R.S., as appropriate. As used in this paragraph (b), "political subdivision" means a municipality as defined in section 31-1-101, C.R.S., or a special district as defined in section 1-13.5-103.

(c) A county clerk and recorder is not required to conduct any election using the procedures set forth in article 13.5 of this title.

(2) The political subdivisions for which the county clerk and recorder will conduct the coordinated election shall enter into an agreement with the county clerk and recorder for the county or counties in which the political subdivision is located concerning the conduct of the coordinated election. The agreement shall be signed no later than seventy days prior to the scheduled election. The agreement shall include but not be limited to the following:

(a) Allocation of the responsibilities between the county clerk and recorder and the political subdivisions for the preparation and conduct of the coordinated election; and

(b) Provision for a reasonable sharing of the actual cost of the coordinated election among the county and the political subdivisions. For such purpose, political subdivisions are not responsible for sharing any portion of the usual costs of maintaining the office of the county clerk and recorder, including but not limited to overhead costs and personal services costs of permanent employees, except for such costs that are shown to be directly attributable to conducting coordinated elections on behalf of political subdivisions. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the state's share of the actual costs of the coordinated election shall be governed by the provisions of section 1-5-505.5. Where the state's reimbursement to a particular county for the costs of conducting a coordinated election pursuant to section 1-5-505.5 is less than the costs of conducting a coordinated election for which the county is entitled to reimbursement by means of a cost-sharing agreement entered into pursuant to the provisions of this subsection (2), such differential shall be assumed by the county. Where the state's reimbursement to a particular county for the costs of conducting a coordinated election pursuant to section 1-5-505.5 is greater than the costs of conducting a coordinated election for which the county is entitled to reimbursement by means of a cost-sharing agreement entered into pursuant to the provisions of this subsection (2), the county shall be entitled to retain such differential, with no obligation to return any portion of such amount to the state.

(2.5) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the scientific and cultural facilities district's share of the actual costs of the coordinated election shall be governed by the provisions of section 32-13-107 (5), C.R.S.

(3) Notwithstanding the provision for independent mail ballot elections in subsection (1) of this section, the ballot issue notice shall be prepared and mailed in substantial compliance with part 9 of this article, and the preparation and mailing thereof shall be made pursuant to an agreement as provided in subsection (2) of this section.

(4) (Deleted by amendment, L. 94, p. 1163, § 36, effective July 1, 1994.)

(5) If, by one hundred days before the election, a political subdivision has taken formal action to participate in an election that will be coordinated by the county clerk and recorder, the political subdivision shall notify the county clerk and recorder in writing. Failure to receive such notice in a timely manner does not prohibit the county clerk and recorder from entering into and performing an intergovernmental agreement to conduct the coordinated election on behalf of the political subdivision.

1-7-117. Joint elections. (Repealed)

Part 2 Primary elections

1-7-201. Voting at primary election.

(1) Any registered elector who has declared an affiliation with a political party that is participating in a primary election and who desires to vote for candidates of that party at a primary election shall show identification, as defined in section 1-1-104 (19.5), write his or her name and address on a form available at the voter service and polling center, and give the form to one of the election judges.

(2) If the name is found on the registration list, the election judge having charge of the list shall likewise repeat the elector's name and present the elector with the party ballot of the political party affiliation last recorded.

(2.3) An eligible unaffiliated elector is entitled to vote in the primary election of a major political party without affiliating with that political party. To vote in a political party's primary election without declaring an affiliation with the political party, any eligible unaffiliated elector shall declare to the election judges the name of the political party in whose primary election the elector wishes to vote. Thereupon, the election judges shall deliver the appropriate party ballot to the elector. In addition, any eligible unaffiliated elector may openly declare to the election judges the name of the political party with which the elector wishes to affiliate and complete the necessary forms. An eligible elector must separately date and sign or date and initial a declaration of affiliation with a political party form in such manner that the elector clearly acknowledges that the affiliation has been properly recorded. Thereupon, the election judges shall deliver the appropriate party ballot to the eligible elector.

(3) Forms completed by eligible electors, as provided in subsection (1) of this section, shall be returned with other election materials to the county clerk and recorder. If no challenges have been made, the forms may be destroyed pursuant to section 1-7-802.

(4) Party ballots shall be cast in the same manner as in general elections. An elector shall not vote for more candidates for any office than are to be elected at the general election as indicated on the ballot.

(5) Instead of voting for a candidate whose name is printed on the party ballot, an elector may cast a write-in vote for any eligible candidate who is a member of the major political party and who has filed an affidavit of intent of write-in candidacy pursuant to section 1-4-1101. When no candidate has been designated by an assembly or by petition, a write-in candidate for nomination by any major political party must receive at least the number of votes at any primary election that is required by section 1-4-801 (2) to become designated as a candidate by petition.

(6) The provisions of subsections (1), (2), and (4) of this section shall not apply to a primary election conducted as a mail ballot election pursuant to article 7.5 of this title.

1-7-202. Count and certification. (Repealed)

1-7-203. Accounting forms.

The county clerk and recorder shall furnish each precinct with two sets of accounting forms for each major political party having candidates at the primary election. The forms shall be furnished at the same time and in the same manner as ballots. All accounting forms shall have the proper party designation at the top thereof and shall state the precinct, county, and date of the primary election. The secretary of state shall prescribe the accounting forms to be used.

Part 3 Paper ballots

1-7-301. Judges open ballot box first.

Immediately before proclamation is made of the opening of the polls, the election judges shall open the ballot box in the presence of those assembled and shall turn it upside down so as to empty it of anything that may be in it and then shall lock it securely. No ballot box shall be reopened until the time for counting the ballots therein.

1-7-302. Electors given only one ballot.

Election judges shall give to each eligible elector a single ballot after issuing vote credit to the elector in the statewide voter registration system created in section 1-2-301.

1-7-303. Spoiled ballots.

No person, except an election judge as authorized by the designated election official, shall remove any ballot from the polling place or voter service and polling center before the close of the polls. Any eligible elector who spoils a ballot may obtain others, one at a time, not exceeding three in all, upon returning each spoiled ballot. The spoiled ballots thus returned shall be immediately canceled and shall be preserved and returned to the designated election official as provided in section 1-7-701. Nothing in this section prohibits an elector from obtaining a replacement ballot pursuant to section 1-7.5-107.

1-7-304. Manner of voting in person.

(1) Each eligible elector, upon receiving a ballot, shall immediately proceed unaccompanied to one of the voting booths provided. To cast a vote, the eligible elector shall clearly fill the oval, connect the arrow, or otherwise appropriately mark the name of the candidate or the names of the joint candidates of the elector's choice for each office to be filled. In the case of a ballot issue, the elector shall clearly fill the oval, connect the arrow, or otherwise appropriately mark the appropriate place opposite the answer that the elector desires to give.

(2) Each eligible elector who has completed the ballot and is ready to vote shall then leave the voting booth and approach the election judges having charge of the ballot box. The elector shall, in full view of the election judges, deposit it in the ballot box.

1-7-305. Counting by counting judges.

(1) In precincts having counting judges, the receiving judges, at 8 a.m., or as soon thereafter as the counting judges request the ballot box, shall deliver to the counting judges the ballot box containing all ballots that have been cast up to that time, and the receiving judges shall then proceed to use the other ballot box furnished for voting. The receiving judges shall open, empty, and lock the alternate ballot box in the manner prescribed in section 1-7-301.

(2) When the counting judges have counted the votes in a ballot box, they shall return the empty ballot box to the receiving judges and exchange it for the box containing ballots cast since taking possession of the first ballot box. The judges shall continue to exchange ballot boxes in the same manner during the day until the polls are closed and shall continue counting until all ballots have been counted.

(3) When an exchange of ballot boxes is made as described in subsection (2) of this section, the receiving judges shall sign and furnish to the counting judges a statement showing the number of ballots that are to be found in each ballot box as indicated by the pollbooks. The counting judges shall then count ballots in the manner prescribed in section 1-7-307.

(4) The governing body may provide a separate room or building for the counting judges but, when ballot boxes are moved from one room or building to another, they shall be under the constant observation of at least one of the counting judges.

1-7-306. Counting by receiving judges. (Repealed)

1-7-307. Method of counting paper ballots.

(1) The election judges shall first count the number of ballots in the box. If the ballots are found to exceed the number of names entered on each of the pollbooks, the election judges shall then examine the official endorsements. If, in the unanimous opinion of the judges, any of the ballots in excess of the number on the pollbooks are deemed not to bear the proper official endorsement, they shall be put into a separate pile and into a separate record, and a return of the votes in those ballots shall be made under the heading "excess ballots". When the ballots and the pollbooks agree, the judges shall proceed to count the votes.

(2) Each ballot shall be read and counted separately. Every name and all names of joint candidates separately marked as voted for on the ballot shall be read and an entry made on each of two accounting forms before any other ballot is counted. The entire number of ballots, excepting "excess ballots", shall be read, counted, and placed on the accounting forms in like manner. When all of the ballots, except "excess ballots", have been counted, the election judges shall post the votes from the accounting forms.

(3) When all the votes have been read and counted, the ballots shall be returned to the ballot box, the opening shall be carefully sealed, and the election judges shall place their initials on the seal. The cover shall then be locked and the ballot box delivered to the designated election official, as provided in section 1-7-701.

(4) All persons, except election judges and watchers, shall be excluded from the place where the ballot counting is being held until the count has been completed.

1-7-308. Judges to keep accounting forms. (Repealed)

1-7-309. Determination of improperly marked ballots.

(1) Votes cast for an office to be filled or a ballot issue to be decided shall not be counted if an elector marks more names than there are persons to be elected to an office or if for any reason it is impossible to determine the elector's choice of candidate or vote concerning the ballot issue.

(2) A defective or an incomplete cross mark on any ballot in a proper place shall be counted if no other cross mark appears on the ballot indicating an intention to vote for some other candidate or ballot issue.

(3) No ballot shall be counted unless it has the official endorsement required by section 1-7-302.

(4) Ballots not counted because of the election judges' inability to determine the elector's intent for all candidates and ballot issues shall be marked "defective" on the back, banded together and separated from the other ballots, returned to the ballot box, and preserved by the designated election official pursuant to section 1-7-801.

(5) When the election judges in any precinct discover in the counting of votes that the name of any write-in candidate voted for is misspelled or omitted in part, the vote for that candidate shall be counted if the writing meets the requirements of section 1-7-114 (1).

Part 4 Voting machines

1-7-401. Judges to inspect machines.

In each polling location using voting machines, the election judges shall meet at the polling location before the time set for the opening of the polls at each election. Before the polls are open for election, each judge shall carefully examine each machine used in the polling location to ensure that no vote has yet been cast and that every counter, except the protective counter, registers zero.

1-7-402. Sample ballots - ballot labels.

(1) The designated election official shall provide each polling location in which voting machines are to be used with two sample ballots, which shall be arranged in the form of a diagram showing the front of the voting machine as it will appear after the official ballot labels are arranged thereon for voting on election day. The sample ballots may be either in full or reduced size and shall be delivered and submitted for public inspection in the same manner as provided by law for sample ballots used in nonmachine voting.

(2) The designated election official shall also prepare the official ballot for each voting machine and shall place the official ballot on each voting machine to be used in polling locations under the election official's supervision and shall deliver the required number of voting machines to each polling location no later than the day before the polling locations open.

1-7-403. Instruction to electors.

In case any elector, after entering the immediate voting area, asks for further instructions concerning the manner of voting, an election judge shall give instructions to the elector. No election judge or other election official or person assisting an elector shall enter the immediate voting area, except as provided in section 1-7-111. After receiving instructions, the elector shall vote as if unassisted.

1-7-404. Judge to watch voting machine.

No person shall deface or damage any voting machine or the ballot thereon. The election judges shall designate at least one election judge to be stationed beside the entrance to the voting machine during the entire period of the election to see that it is properly closed after each voter has entered. At such intervals as may be deemed necessary, the election judge shall also examine the face of the machine to ascertain whether it has been defaced or damaged, to detect any wrongdoing, and to repair any damage.

1-7-405. Seal on voting machine.

The designated election official shall supply each election precinct with a seal for each voting machine to be used in the precinct for the purpose of sealing the machine after the polls are closed. The designated election official shall also provide an envelope for the return of the keys to each voting machine along with the election returns.

1-7-406. Close of polls and count - seals.

As soon as the polls are closed on election day, the election judges shall immediately lock and seal each voting machine against further voting, and it shall so remain for a period of thirty days unless otherwise ordered by the court and except as provided in section 1-7-407. Immediately after each machine is locked and sealed, the election judges shall open the counting compartment and proceed to count the votes. After the total vote for each candidate and ballot issue has been ascertained, the election judges shall record on a certificate the number of votes cast, in numerical figures only, and return it to the designated election official.

1-7-407. Close of polls - primary.

In the event no election contest is filed by any candidate in a primary election within the time prescribed by section 1-11-203, the county clerk and recorder may unlock and break the seals of voting machines at any time after the fifteenth day followingthe date of the primary election.

1-7-408. Judges to keep accounting forms. (Repealed)

Part 5 Electronic voting equipment

1-7-501. Judges open ballot box first.

Immediately before proclamation is made of the opening of the polls, the election judges shall open the ballot box in the presence of those assembled and shall turn it upside down so as to empty it of anything that may be in it and then shall lock it securely. No ballot box shall be reopened until the time for counting the ballots or ballot cards therein.

1-7-502. Elector given only one ballot or ballot card. (Repealed)

1-7-503. Manner of voting.

(1) Each eligible elector, upon receiving a ballot, shall immediately proceed unaccompanied to one of the voting booths provided. To cast a vote, the eligible elector shall clearly fill the oval, connect the arrow, or otherwise appropriately mark the name of the candidate or the names of the joint candidates of the elector's choice for each office to be filled. In the case of a ballot issue, the elector shall clearly fill the oval, connect the arrow, or otherwise appropriately mark the appropriate place opposite the answer that the elector desires to give. Before leaving the voting booth, the eligible elector, without displaying the marks thereon, shall place the ballot in the privacy envelope so that the contents of the ballot or ballot card are concealed and shall place the envelope and the ballot or ballot card in the ballot box.

(2) Each eligible elector who has prepared the ballot and is ready to vote shall then leave the voting booth andapproach the election judges having charge of the ballot box. The eligible elector shall give his or her name to one of the election judges. The elector shall, in full view of the election judges, deposit the ballot or ballot card in the ballot box, with the official endorsement on the ballot or ballot card facing upward.

(3) In precincts which use electronic voting equipment in which voting is by a method other than a ballot, each voter shall be listed by name in the pollbook and shall be given an entry card to the electronic voting device.

(4) Notwithstanding any provision of subsection (1) or (2) of this section to the contrary, at a polling location at which a ballot marking device, as defined in section 1-5-702 (2.5), is available for accessible voting, the election judge in charge of the ballot box shall deposit every elector's ballot card in the ballot box.

1-7-504. Spoiled ballot or ballot card.

In polling locations in which voting is on a ballot or ballot card, no person, except an election judge as authorized by the designated election official, shall remove a spoiled ballot or ballot card from the polling location before the close of the polls. Any eligible elector who spoils a ballot or ballot card may successively obtain others, one at a time, not exceeding three in all, upon returning each spoiled ballot or ballot card. The spoiled ballots or ballot cards thus returned shall be immediately canceled and shall be preserved and returned to the designated election official as provided in section 1-7-701. Nothing in this section prohibits an elector from obtaining a replacement ballot pursuant to section 1-7.5-107.

1-7-505. Close of polls - security of voting machinery.

(1) After the polls have been closed, the election judges shall secure the vote recorders or the voting devices, or both, against further use.

(2) and (3) Repealed

1-7-506. Electronic vote-counting - test. (Repealed)

1-7-506.5. Testing of voting systems and tabulating equipment. (Repealed)

1-7-507. Electronic vote-counting - procedure.

(1) All proceedings at the counting centers shall be under the direction of the designated election official and the representatives of the political parties, if a partisan election, or watchers, if a nonpartisan election. No persons, except those authorized for the purpose, shall touch any ballot, ballot card, "prom" or other electronic device, or return.

(2) All persons who are engaged in the processing and counting of the ballots or recorded precinct votes shall be deputized in writing and take an oath that they will faithfully perform their assigned duties.

(3) The return printed by the electronic vote-tabulating equipment, to which have been added write-in votes, shall, when certified by the designated election official, constitute the official return of each precinct. The designated election official may, from time to time, release unofficial returns. Upon completion of the count, the official returns shall be open to the public.

(4) Repealed.

(5) Write-in ballots may be counted by the election judges or at the counting centers.

(6) If for any reason it becomes impracticable to count all or a part of the ballots with electronic vote-tabulating equipment, the designated election official may direct that they be counted manually, following as far as practicable the provisions governing the counting of paper ballots as provided in 1-7-307.

(7) The receiving, opening, and preservation of the transfer boxes and their contents shall be the responsibility of the designated election official, who shall provide adequate personnel and facilities to assure accurate and complete election results. Any indication of tampering with the ballots, ballot card, or other fraudulent action shall be immediately reported to the district attorney, who shall immediately investigate the action and report the findings in writing within ten days to the designated election official and shall prosecute to the full extent of the law any person or persons responsible for the fraudulent action.

(8) Repealed. / (Deleted by amendment, L. 2004, p. 1359, § 21, effective January 1, 2006.)

1-7-508. Determination of improperly marked ballots.

(1) If any ballot is damaged or defective so that it cannot properly be counted by the electronic vote-counting equipment, a true duplicate copy shall be made of the damaged ballot in the presence of two witnesses. The duplicate ballot shall be substituted for the damaged ballot. Every duplicate ballot shall be clearly labeled as such and shall bear a serial number which shall be recorded on the damaged ballot.

(2) Votes cast for an office to be filled or a ballot question or ballot issue to be decided shall not be counted if a voter marks more names than there are persons to be elected to an office or if for any reason it is impossible to determine the elector's choice of candidate or vote concerning the ballot question or ballot issue. A defective or an incomplete mark on any ballot in a proper place shall be counted if no other mark is on the ballot indicating an intention to vote for some other candidate or ballot question or ballot issue.

(3) No ballot shall be counted unless it has the official endorsement required by section 1-5-407 (1).

(4) Ballots not counted because of the election judges' inability to determine the elector's intent for all candidates and ballot issues shall be marked "defective" on the back, banded together, separated from the other ballots, and preserved by the designated election official pursuant to section 1-7-801.

1-7-509. Electronic and electromechanical vote counting - testing of equipment required - definition.

(1) (a) An electronic or electromechanical voting system shall be tested at the conclusion of maintenance and testing. The tests shall be sufficient to determine that the voting system is properly programmed, the election is correctly defined on the voting system, and all of the voting system's input, output, and communication devices are working properly.

(b) The designated election official shall conduct at least three tests on all electronic and electromagnetic voting equipment, including a hardware test, a public logic and accuracy test conducted in accordance with subsection (2) of this section, and a postelection test or audit conducted in accordance with rules promulgated by the secretary of state. Each type of ballot, including mail, provisional, and audio ballots, shall be tested in accordance with rules promulgated by the secretary of state. The tests must ensure that the equipment will correctly count the votes cast for all offices and on all ballot questions and ballot issues and that the voting system will accurately count ballots of all types.

(c) (I) For all partisan elections, the designated election official shall select a testing board comprising at least two persons, one from each major political party, from the list provided by the major political parties pursuant to section 1-6-102.

(II) For all nonpartisan elections, the designated election official or coordinated election official, as applicable, shall select a testing board comprising at least two persons who are registered electors.

(III) Repealed.

(2) (a) A public test of voting equipment shall be conducted prior to the commencement of voting in accordance with this section by processing a preaudited group of ballots produced so as to record a predetermined number of valid votes for each candidate and on each ballot question or ballot issue. The test shall ensure that the system accurately records votes when the elector has the option of voting for more than one candidate in a race. The test shall ensure that the voting system properly rejects and does not count overvotes and undervotes.

(b) The public test shall be open to representatives of the political parties, the press, and the public, subject to the rules promulgated by the secretary of state pursuant to subsection (6) of this section. Each major political party, minor political party, ballot issue committee that has an issue on the ballot, and coordinating entity may designate one person, who shall be allowed to witness all public tests and the counting of pretest votes. If an observer or designee hinders or disturbs the test process, the designated election official may remove the person from the test area. An observer or designee who has been removed from a public test may be barred from future tests. The absence of observers or designees shall not delay or stop the public test.

(c) The testing board shall convene and designate at least one member to represent the board during the testing, sign the necessary reports, and report to the board. The programs and ballots used for testing shall be attested to and sealed by the board and retained in the custody of the designated election official. The absence of a member of the testing board shall not delay or stop the test.

(d) Upon completion of the testing conducted pursuant to this section, the testing board or its representative and the representatives of the political parties, ballot issue committees, and coordinating entities who attended the test may witness the resetting of each device that passed the test to a preelection state of readiness and the sealing of each such device in order to secure its state of readiness.

(e) The testing board or its representative shall sign a written statement indicating the devices tested, the results of the testing, the protective counter numbers of each device, if applicable, the number of the seal attached to each device upon completion of the testing, any problems reported to the designated election official as a result of the testing, and whether each device tested is satisfactory or unsatisfactory.

(3) Notice of the fact that the public test will take place shall be posted in the designated public place for posting notices in the county for at least seven days before the public test. The notice shall indicate the general time frame during which the test may take place and the manner in which members of the public may obtain specific information about the time and place of the test. Nothing in this subsection (3) shall preclude the use of additional methods of providing information about the public test to members of the public.

(4) (a) If any tested device is found to have an error in tabulation, it shall be deemed unsatisfactory. For each device deemed unsatisfactory, the testing board shall attempt to determine the cause of the error, attempt to identify and test other devices that could reasonably be expected to have the same error, and test a number of additional devices sufficient to determine that all other devices are satisfactory. The cause of any error detected shall be corrected, and an errorless count shall be made before the voting equipment is approved. The test shall be repeated and errorless results achieved before official ballots are counted.

(b) If an error is detected in the operation or output of an electronic voting device, including an error in spelling or in the order of candidates on a ballot, the problem shall be reported to the testing board and the designated election official. The designated election official shall correct the error.

(c) A voting device deemed unsatisfactory shall be recoded, repaired, or replaced and shall be made available for retesting unless a sufficient number of tested backup devices is available to replace the unsatisfactory device. The backup device may not be used in the election unless the testing board or its representative determines that the device is satisfactory. The designated election official shall announce at the conclusion of the first testing the date, place, and time that an unsatisfactory device will be retested, or, at the option of the testing board, the designated election official shall notify by telephone each person who was present at the first testing of the date, place, and time of the retesting.

(5) The designated election official shall keep records of all previous testing of electronic and electromechanical tabulation devices used in any election. Such records shall be available for inspection and reference during public testing by any person in attendance. The need of the testing board for access to such records during the testing shall take precedence over the need of other attendees for access so that the work of the testing board will not be hindered. Records of testing shall include, for each device, the name of the person who tested the device and the date, place, time, and results of each test. Records of testing shall be retained as part of the official records of the election in which the device is used.

(6) The secretary of state shall promulgate rules in accordance with article 4 of title 24, C.R.S., prescribing the manner of performing the logic and accuracy testing required by this section.

1-7-510. Election software code - escrow - definitions.

(1) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires, "election setup records" means the electronic records generated by election tabulation software during election setup to define ballots, tabulation instructions, and other functions related to the election.

(2) At the conclusion of programming and after it has been determined that a voting system is in proper working order and ready for voting, the designated election official shall deposit a copy of the election setup records for a county, statewide, or congressional vacancy election with the secretary of state no later than 5:00 p.m. on the seventh day before the election.

(3) If the election setup records are modified or altered after they are submitted to the secretary of state, the designated election official shall immediately report the change to the secretary of state and deposit the modified election setup records with the secretary of state no later than noon on the day of the election.

(4) The secretary of state shall retain election setup records for six months, after which the secretary of state shall return the election setup records to the designated election official. The designated election official shall retain the election setup records for the period of time for which the designated election official is required to retain official election records.

(5) Election setup records deposited with the secretary of state shall not be used for any purpose, except as directed by the secretary of state or ordered by a court. The tape, diskette, cartridge, or other magnetic or electronic storage medium containing election setup records deposited with the secretary of state shall be kept in a secure location when not being used for an official purpose in accordance with this subsection (5).

(6) The secretary of state shall promulgate rules in accordance with article 4 of title 24, C.R.S., to implement this section.

(7) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, election setup records deposited with the secretary of state pursuant to this section shall not be public records for purposes of article 72 of title 24, C.R.S.

1-7-511. Election software - voting equipment providers - escrow - definitions.

(1) When a voting system provider submits an electronic or electromechanical voting system for certification pursuant to part 6 of article 5 of this title, the voting system provider shall place in escrow with the secretary of state or an independent escrow agent approved by the secretary of state one copy of the election software being certified and supporting documentation. The voting system provider shall place in escrow any subsequent changes to the escrowed election software or supporting documentation.

(2) An officer of the voting system provider with legal authority to bind the voting system provider shall sign a sworn affidavit that the election software in escrow is the same as the election software being used in its voting systems in this state. The officer shall ensure that the statement is true on a continuing basis.

(3) As an additional requirement for certification, the voting system provider shall deposit one copy of the election software with the national software reference library at the national institute of standards and technology.

(4) The secretary of state shall promulgate rules in accordance with article 4 of title 24, C.R.S., prescribing the manner and procedures that voting system providers shall follow to comply with this section.

(5) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires, "election software" means the software to be installed or residing on election equipment firmware or on election management computers that controls election setup, vote recording, vote tabulation, and reporting.

(6) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, election software and supporting documentation placed in escrow in accordance with this section shall not be public records for purposes of article 72 of title 24, C.R.S.

1-7-512. Voting system providers - duties.

(1) A voting system provider under contract to provide a voting system to a political subdivision in this state shall:

(a) Notify the secretary of state of the installation of any hardware, firmware, or software prior to the installation or of any change in the election software or the voting system;

(b) Place in escrow with the secretary of state or an independent escrow agent approved by the secretary of state, immediately after the installation of election software, one copy of the state certified election software that was installed in each political subdivision, along with supporting documentation;

(c) Place in escrow with the secretary of state any subsequent changes to the escrowed election software or supporting documentation;

(d) Provide to the secretary of state a sworn statement by an officer of the voting system provider with legal authority to bind the voting system provider attesting that the election software in escrow is the same as the election software certified for use in its voting systems in this state, and ensure that the statement is true on a continuing basis;

(e) Notify the secretary of state and the designated election official of any political subdivision using its voting system of any defect in the same system known to occur anywhere; and

(f) Notify the secretary of state and the designated election official of any political subdivision using its voting system of any change in the election software or the voting system.

(2) The secretary of state shall promulgate rules in accordance with article 4 of title 24, C.R.S., establishing procedures for voting system providers to comply with this section.

(3) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires, "election software" means the software to be installed or residing on election equipment firmware or on election management computers that controls election setup, vote recording, vote tabulation, and reporting.

1-7-513. Voting equipment - records.

(1) The designated election official shall maintain separate, detailed records for each component of a voting system used in an election. Such records shall include, but not be limited to, the manufacturer, make, model, serial number, hardware, firmware, software version or release number, date of acquisition, description of services, repairs, maintenance, upkeep, and version upgrades, and date of performance of such services.

(2) The secretary of state shall promulgate rules in accordance with article 4 of title 24, C.R.S., prescribing the manner of maintenance of records required by this section.

1-7-514. Random audit.

(1) (a) (I) Following each primary, general, coordinated, or congressional district vacancy election, the secretary of state shall publicly initiate a manual random audit to be conducted by each county. Unless the secretary approves an alternative method for a particular county that is based on a proven statistical sampling plan and will achieve a higher level of statistical confidence, the secretary shall randomly select not less than five percent of the voting devices used in each county to be audited; except that, where a central count voting device is in use in the county, the rules promulgated by the secretary pursuant to subsection (5) of this section shall require an audit of a specified percentage of ballots counted within the county.

(II) For an election taking place in a county prior to the date the county has satisfied the requirements of section 1-5-802, the audit shall be for the purpose of comparing the manual tallies of the ballots counted by each voting device selected for each such audit with the corresponding tallies recorded directly by each such device.

(III) 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 audit shall be conducted for the purpose of comparing the manual tallies of the voter-verified paper records produced or employed by each voting device selected for such audit with the corresponding ballot tallies recorded directly by each such device in the original election tally.

(b) To the extent practicable, no voting device that is used for the random audit required by paragraph (a) of this subsection (1) shall be used for conducting the testing of voting devices for recount purposes required by section 1-10.5-102 (3)(a).

(2) (a) Upon completion of the audit required by subsection (1) of this section, if there is any discrepancy between the manual tallies, as specified in accordance with the requirements of subparagraph (II) or (III) of paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of this section, as applicable, of the voting device selected for the audit, and the corresponding tallies recorded by such devices, and the discrepancy is not able to be accounted for by voter error, the county clerk and recorder, in consultation with the canvass board of the county established pursuant to section 1-10-101, shall investigate the discrepancy and shall take such remedial action as necessary in accordance with its powers under this title.

(b) Upon receiving any written complaint from a registered elector from within the county containing credible evidence concerning a problem with a voting device, the canvass board along with the county clerk and recorder shall investigate the complaint and take such remedial action as necessary in accordance with its powers under this title.

(c) The canvass board and the county clerk and recorder shall promptly report to the secretary of state a description of the audit process undertaken, including any initial, interim, and final results of any completed audit or investigation conducted pursuant to paragraph (a) or (b) of this subsection (2).

(3) The secretary of state shall post the reports of any completed audit or investigation received pursuant to paragraph (c) of subsection (2) of this section on the official website of the department of state not later than five business days after receiving the results of the completed audit or investigation. The clerk and recorder of the affected county may timely post the results of the completed audit or investigation on the official website of the county.

(4) Any audit conducted in accordance with the requirements of this section shall be observed by at least two members of the canvass board of the county.

(5) 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 any audit required by this section. The rules shall account for:

(a) The number of ballots cast in the county;

(b) An audit of each type of voting device utilized by the county;

(c) The confidentiality of the ballots cast by the electors; and

(d) An audit of the voting on each office, ballot issue, and ballot question in the election.

1-7-515. Risk-limiting audits - rules - legislative declaration - definitions.

(1) (a) The general assembly hereby finds, determines, and declares that the auditing of election results is necessary to ensure effective election administration and public confidence in the election process. Further, risk-limiting audits provide a more effective manner of conducting audits than traditional audit methods in that risk-limiting audit methods typically require only limited resources for election races with wide margins of victory while investing greater resources in close races.

(b) By enacting this section, the general assembly intends that the state move toward an audit process that is developed with the assistance of statistical experts and that relies upon risk-limiting audits making use of best practices for conducting such audits.

(2) (a) Commencing with the 2017 coordinated election and following each primary, general, coordinated, or congressional vacancy election held thereafter, each county shall make use of a risk-limiting audit in accordance with the requirements of this section. Races to be audited shall be selected in accordance with procedures established by the secretary of state, and all contested races are eligible for such selection.

(b) Upon written application from a county, the secretary of state may waive the requirements of paragraph (a) of this subsection (2) upon a sufficient showing by the county that the technology in use by the county will not enable the county to satisfy such requirements in preparation for the 2017 coordinated election.

(3) Repealed.

(4) The secretary of state shall promulgate rules in accordance with article 4 of title 24, C.R.S., as may be necessary to implement and administer the requirements of this section. In connection with the promulgation of the rules, the secretary shall consult recognized statistical experts, equipment vendors, and county clerk and recorders, and shall consider best practices for conducting risk-limiting audits.

(5) As used in this section:

(a) "Incorrect outcome" means an outcome that is inconsistent with the election outcome that would be obtained by conducting a full recount.

(b) "Risk-limiting audit" means an audit protocol that makes use of statistical methods and is designed to limit to acceptable levels the risk of certifying a preliminary election outcome that constitutes an incorrect outcome.

Part 6 Election returns

1-7-601. Judges’ certificate and statement.

(1) As soon as all the votes have been read and counted, either at the precincts or at the electronic balloting counting centers, the election judges shall make a certificate for each precinct, stating the name of each candidate, the office for which that candidate received votes, and stating the number of votes each candidate received. The number shall be expressed in numerical figures. The entry shall be made, as nearly as circumstances will permit, in the following form:

At an election held ...................., in precinct ......, in the county of ................… and state of Colorado, on the ................… day of ................… in the year ......, the following named candidates received the number of votes annexed to their respective names for the following described offices: Total number of ballots or votes cast was .… A.B. and E.F. had 72 votes for governor and lieutenant governor; C.D. and G.H. had 69 votes for governor and lieutenant governor; J.K. had 68 votes for representative in congress; L.M. had 70 votes for representative in congress; N.O. had 72 votes for state representative; P.Q. had 71 votes for state representative; R.S. had 84 votes for sheriff; T.W. had 60 votes for sheriff; (and the same manner for any other persons voted for).

At an election held ...................., in precinct ......, in the county of ................… and state of Colorado, on the ................… day of ................… in the year ......, the following named candidates received the number of votes annexed to their respective names for the following described offices: Total number of ballots or votes cast was .… A.B. and E.F. had 72 votes for governor and lieutenant governor; C.D. and G.H. had 69 votes for governor and lieutenant governor; J.K. had 68 votes for representative in congress; L.M. had 70 votes for representative in congress; N.O. had 72 votes for state representative; P.Q. had 71 votes for state representative; R.S. had 84 votes for sheriff; T.W. had 60 votes for sheriff; (and the same manner for any other persons voted for).---Certified by us:---A.B.<N>)---C.D.<N>)---E.F.<N>)<N>Election Judges

(1.5) In addition to the information required by subsection (1) of this section, the certificate prepared by the election judges for each precinct shall state the ballot title and submission clause of any ballot issue or ballot question voted upon in the election and the number of votes counted for and against the ballot issue or ballot question.

(2) In addition, the election judges shall make a written statement showing the number of ballots voted, making a separate statement of the number of unofficial and substitute ballots voted, the number of ballots delivered to electors, the number of spoiled ballots, the number of ballots not delivered to electors, and the number of ballots returned, identifying and specifying the same. All unused ballots, spoiled ballots, and stubs of ballots voted shall be returned with the statement.

(3) Any judges' certificates and statements may be combined into one document if so directed by the designated election official.

1-7-602. Judges to post returns. (Repealed)

1-7-603. Alternative preparation of election returns - procedures.

If any designated election official wishes to count the votes cast at a location or by a method other than authorized by this code, the designated election official may present a plan, for approval by the secretary of state, that delineates the process for assuring accuracy and confidentiality of counting. The plan shall be submitted to the secretary of state and approved no later than forty-five days before the election at which the plan is to be implemented.

Part 7 Delivery of election returns

1-7-701. Delivery of election returns, ballot boxes, and other election papers.

When all the votes have been read and counted, the election judges selected in accordance with section 1-6-109.5 shall deliver to the designated election official the certificate and statement required by section 1-7-601, ballot boxes and all keys to the boxes, paper tapes, "proms" or other electronic devices, the registration records, pollbooks, accounting forms, spoiled ballots, unused ballots, ballot stubs, oaths, affidavits, and other election papers and supplies. The delivery must be made at once and with all convenient speed, and informality in the delivery does not invalidate the vote of any precinct when delivery has been made previous to the completion of the official abstract of the votes by the board of canvassers. The designated election official shall give a receipt for all items delivered.

Part 8 Preservation of ballots and election records

1-7-801. Ballots preserved.

The designated election official shall remove the ballots from the ballot box after the time period for election contests has passed and preserve the ballots as election records pursuant to section 1-7-802.

1-7-802. Preservation of election records.

The designated election official shall be responsible for the preservation of any election records for a period of at least twenty-five months after the election or until time has expired for which the record would be needed in any contest proceedings, whichever is later. Unused ballots may be destroyed after the time for a challenge to the election has passed. If a federal candidate was on the ballot, the voted ballots and any other required election materials shall be kept for at least twenty-five months after the election.

Part 9 Ballot issue notices

1-7-901. Receipt of comments concerning ballot issues.

(1) Each political subdivision shall accept written comments concerning ballot issues in accordance with this section.

(2) All comments filed in writing will be received and kept on file with the designated election official for the political subdivision submitting to its eligible electors the ballot issue to which the comments pertain. However, only those comments that are filed by persons eligible to vote in the political subdivision submitting the ballot issue to its electors must be summarized in the ballot issue notice. The filed comments shall be retained by the designated election official as election records.

(3) To be summarized in the ballot issue notice, the comments shall address a specific ballot issue and shall include a signature and an address where the signor is registered to vote and shall be filed with the designated election official for the political subdivision and not the county clerk and recorder of the county in which the political subdivision is located unless the issue is a county issue for which the county clerk and recorder is the designated election official.

(4) Since section 20 (3)(b)(v) of article X of the state constitution requires that comments pertaining to a ballot issue be filed by forty-five days before the election and since such day is always a Saturday, all comments shall be filed by noon on the Friday before the forty-fifth day before the election.

1-7-902. Preparation of fiscal information.

A governing body submitting a referred measure, or its designee, shall be responsible for providing to its designated election official the fiscal information that must be included in the ballot issue notice. For political subdivisions, the governing body shall be the board that authorized submission of the ballot issue to the electorate.

1-7-903. Preparation of written comments.

(1) For referred measures, the designated election official shall summarize the filed comments in favor of and in opposition to the ballot issue for the ballot issue notice.

(2) For initiated measures, the petition representatives shall be solely responsible for summarizing all comments filed in favor of the ballot issue. The designated election official shall summarize all comments filed in opposition to the ballot issue.

(3) Petition representatives required to summarize favorable comments in favor of their petition shall submit the summary in typewritten form to the designated election official for the jurisdiction in which the petition is presented no later than forty-four days before the election. If a summary is not filed by the petition representatives within the time allowed, the designated election official shall print the following in the ballot issue notice where the summary would appear: "No summary was filed by the statutory deadline."

(3.5) For political subdivisions of the state, including but not limited to special districts, that have no designated election official, the governing body of a political subdivision shall be solely responsible for preparing the summary of the filed comments in favor of and in opposition to the ballot issue for the ballot issue notice required by section 20 (3)(b)(v) of article X of the state constitution.

(4) If no comments are filed in opposition to or in support of a ballot issue, the designated election official shall not prepare any summaries and shall state substantially the following in the ballot issue notice where the summary or summaries would appear: "No comments were filed by the constitutional deadline."

(5) The provisions of this section shall not apply to a statewide ballot issue that is subject to the provisions of section 1 (7.5) of article V of the state constitution.

1-7-904. Transmittal of notices.

Notwithstanding the provision for independent mail ballot elections in section 1-7-116 (1), the designated election official or the official's designee for a political subdivision conducting an election in November shall prepare and deliver to the county clerk and recorder for the county or counties in which the political subdivision is located no later than forty-three days before the election the full text of any required ballot issue notices.

1-7-905. Preparation of notices.

(1) For coordinated elections, the county clerk and recorder is responsible for placing the ballot issue notices received from the various political subdivisions participating in the election in the proper order in the ballot issue notice packet. As nearly as practicable, the notice must be in the order the ballot issues will appear on the ballot. The ballot issue notice must be followed by a certification by the county clerk and recorder that the ballot issue notices are complete as submitted by the political subdivisions. No additional information may be included as part of the ballot issue notice except as may be required by law. A general disclaimer may precede or follow the ballot issue notice which states: "The information contained in this notice was prepared by persons required by law to provide summaries of ballot issues and fiscal information."

(2) The designated election officials of overlapping political subdivisions conducting an election other than a coordinated election shall confer concerning the preparation of the ballot issue notice no later than forty days prior to the date of the election. The political subdivisions conducting the election shall provide for preparation of any required ballot issue notice package by agreement in a form substantially as provided in section 1-7-116.

1-7-905.5. Form of notice.

(1) The ballot issue notice must begin with the words "All registered voters", regardless of whether the electors of the political subdivision must be registered electors to be eligible to vote in the election, and ends at the conclusion of the summary of comments. Any information concerning procedure for an election or other information included with the ballot issue notice prior to the words "All registered voters", or after the conclusion of the summary of comments, are not deemed to be part of the ballot issue notice.

(2) Ballot issue notices are not election materials that must be provided in a language other than English.

1-7-906. Mailing of notices.

(1) For coordinated elections, the county clerk and recorder as coordinated election official shall mail the ballot issue notice packet to each address of one or more active registered electors who reside in the county or portions of the county in which registered voters of those districts submitting ballot issues reside.

(2) The designated election official for the various political subdivisions shall be responsible for mailing the required notice to each address of one or more active registered electors who do not reside within the county or counties where the political subdivision is located.

(3) The political subdivisions shall by agreement, in a form substantially as provided in sections 1-7-116 and 1-7-905, provide for mailing of any required ballot issue notice package for elections conducted other than coordinated elections.

1-7-907. Ballot issue notice.

The ballot issue notice shall be prepared and mailed in substantial compliance with section 20 of article X of the state constitution, the provisions of this title, and the rules and regulations of the secretary of state.

1-7-908. Additional notice - election to create financial obligation.

(1) (a) A district submitting a ballot issue concerning the creation of any debt or other financial obligation at an election in the district shall post notice of the following information on the district's website or, if the district does not maintain a website, at the district's chief administrative office no later than twenty days before the election:

(I) The district's ending general fund balance for the last four fiscal years and the projected ending general fund balance for the current fiscal year;

(II) A statement of the total revenues in and expenditures from the district's general fund for the last four fiscal years and the projected total revenues in and expenditures from the general fund for the current fiscal year;

(III) The amount of any debt or other financial obligation incurred by the district for each of the last four fiscal years for cash flow purposes that has a term of not more than one year and the amount of any such financial obligation projected for the current fiscal year;

(IV) A statement as to whether the district's emergency reserve required by section 20 (5) of article X of the state constitution has been fully funded by cash or investments for the current fiscal year and each of the last four fiscal years and an identification of the funds or accounts in which the reserve is currently held. If the reserve has not been fully funded, the notice shall include a statement of the reasons the reserve has not been fully funded.

(V) The location or locations at which any person may review the district's audited financial statements for the last four fiscal years, any management letters that have been made public and have been provided to the district by its auditors in connection with the preparation of its audits for the last four fiscal years, and the district's budget for the current fiscal year.

(b) If the debt or other financial obligation for which the district is seeking voter approval is to be paid from a revenue source that is accounted for in a fund other than the district's general fund, the information required by subparagraphs (I) and (II) of paragraph (a) of this subsection (1) shall also be made available for such other fund.

(c) The information required by subparagraphs (I), (II), (III), and (IV) of paragraph (a) of this subsection (1) shall be based upon audited figures. If no audited figures are available, the information shall be based upon estimated figures.

(2) The notice required by this section shall be in addition to and shall not substitute, replace, or be combined with any other notice required by law.

(3) For purposes of this section, "district" shall have the same meaning as set forth in section 20 (2)(b) of article X of the state constitution.

Part 10 Ranked voting methods

1-7-1001. Short title.

This part 10 shall be known and may be cited as the "Voter Choice Act".

1-7-1002. Ranked voting methods - report - definitions.

(1) As used in this part 10, unless the context otherwise requires, "local government" means a statutory city or town or a special district created pursuant to article 1 of title 32, C.R.S.

(2) A local government may conduct an election using a ranked voting method if:

(a) The use of the ranked voting method in the local government is not prohibited by the charter of the local government; and

(b) The election is conducted with a system of casting, recording, and tabulating votes that is capable of conducting the election using ranked voting and that has been approved by the governing body and the designated election official of the local government.

(3) The secretary of state shall submit a report to the state, veterans, and military affairs committees, or any successor committees, of the house of representatives and the senate no later than February 15, 2011, that includes, but is not limited to:

(a) An assessment of all elections conducted using ranked voting methods by local governments in accordance with this part 10 and by home rule cities or cities and counties in accordance with their charters from August 5, 2008, through the general election of November 2010;

(b) Recommendations for changes to statutes, rules, and local voting procedures that would be required to implement ranked voting as a permanent alternative election method for state, federal, and local special and general elections;

(c) An inventory of available election equipment necessary for conducting elections using ranked voting methods, including the costs associated with the equipment; and

(d) Any recommendations made by the designated election officials of local governments that conducted an election using a ranked voting method.

1-7-1003. Conduct of elections using ranked voting methods - instant runoff voting - choice voting or proportional voting - reports.

(1) A ranked voting ballot shall allow an elector to rank as many choices as there are candidates. However, if the voting system cannot accommodate a number of rankings equal to the number of candidates, the designated election official may limit the number of choices an elector may rank to the maximum number allowed by the voting system; except that the number of choices shall not be less than three.

(2) A ranked voting ballot shall allow an elector to rank up to two write-in candidates. A vote for an unqualified write-in candidate shall not be considered a mark for a candidate.

(3) (a) In an election in which one candidate is to be elected to an office, the ranked voting method shall be known as instant runoff voting. The ballots shall be counted in rounds simulating a series of runoffs until two candidates remain or until one candidate has more votes than the combined vote total of all other candidates. The candidate having the greatest number of votes shall be declared the winner.

(b) In each round of counting ballots in an election using instant runoff voting, each ballot shall be counted as a vote for the remaining candidate ranked highest by the elector, and the candidate with the smallest number of votes shall be eliminated.

(c) If two or more candidates tie for the smallest number of votes, the candidate to eliminate shall be chosen by lot.

(4) In an election in which more than one candidate is to be elected to an office in a multiple-seat district or on a governing body that includes multiple at-large seats, a local government may conduct a ranked voting election using the single transferable vote method, in which a winning threshold is calculated based on the number of seats to be filled and the number of votes cast so that no more than the correct number of candidates can win. The ballots shall be counted in rounds, with surplus votes transferred from winning candidates and candidates with the fewest votes eliminated according to the methodology established by the secretary of state by rule, until the number of candidates remaining equals the number of seats to be filled. A local government may also conduct an election pursuant to this subsection (4) using the principles of instant runoff voting specified in subsection (3) of this section to ensure that each elector has equal voting power and that an elector's lower ranking of a candidate does not count against the candidate to whom the elector gave the highest rank.

(5) (a) In an election conducted using a ranked voting method, an explanation of ranked voting and instructions for electors in the form approved by the secretary of state by rule shall be posted at each polling location and included with each mail ballot.

(b) A local government that conducts an election using a ranked voting method shall conduct a voter education and outreach campaign to familiarize electors with ranked voting in English and in every language in which a ballot is required to be made available pursuant to this code and the federal "Voting Rights Act of 1965", 52 U.S.C. sec. 10101 et seq.

(6) In an election using a ranked voting method, the election judges shall not count votes at the polling location but shall deliver all ballots cast in the election to the designated election official, which shall count the votes in accordance with this section and the rules adopted by the secretary of state pursuant to section 1-7-1004 (1).

(7) (a) For an election conducted using a ranked voting method, the designated election official shall issue the following reports:

(I) A summary report listing the total number of votes for each candidate in each round;

(II) A ballot image report listing for each ballot the order in which the elector ranked the candidates, the precinct of the ballot, and whether the ballot is a mail ballot; and

(III) A comprehensive report listing the results in the summary report by precinct.

(b) The secretary of state may by rule establish additional requirements for the reports issued pursuant to this subsection (7).

(c) Preliminary versions of the summary report and ballot image report shall be made available to the public as soon as possible after the commencement of the official canvass of the vote pursuant to subsection (6) of this section.

1-7-1004. Secretary of state - rules - guidance to local governments.

(1) The secretary of state shall adopt rules consistent with section 1-7-1003 and in accordance with article 4 of title 24, C.R.S., on the conduct of elections using ranked voting methods. The rules shall prescribe the methods and procedures for tabulating, auditing, and reporting results in an election using a ranked voting method.

(2) The secretary of state shall provide guidance and advice to the governing bodies and designated election officials of local governments of the state on the conduct of elections using ranked voting methods.

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