Title 1, C.R.S.

Article 40 - Initiative and Referendum
PDF format PDF version

 

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

 

Contents
1-40-101. Legislative declaration
1-40-102. Definitions
1-40-103. Applicability of article
1-40-104. Designated representatives
1-40-105. Filing procedure - review and comment - amendments - filing with secretary of state
1-40-106. Title board - meetings - ballot title - initiative and referendum
1-40-106.5. Single-subject requirements for initiated measures and referred constitutional amendments - legislative declaration
1-40-107. Rehearing - appeal - fees - signing
1-40-108. Petition - time of filing
1-40-109. Signatures required - withdrawal
1-40-110. Warning - ballot title
1-40-111. Signatures - affidavits - notarization - list of circulators and notaries
1-40-112. Circulators - requirements - training
1-40-113. Form - representatives of signers
1-40-114. Petitions - not election materials - no bilingual language requirement
1-40-115. Ballot - voting - publication
1-40-116. Verification - ballot issues - random sampling
1-40-117. Statement of sufficiency - statewide issues
1-40-118. Protest
1-40-119. Procedure for hearings
1-40-120. Filing in federal court
1-40-121. Designated representatives - expenditures related to petition circulation - report - penalty - definitions
1-40-122. Certification of ballot titles
1-40-123. Counting of votes - effective date - conflicting provisions
1-40-124. Publication
1-40-124.5. Ballot information booklet
1-40-125. Mailing to electors
1-40-126. Explanation of effect of "yes" or "no" vote included in notices provided by mailing or publication
1-40-126.5. Explanation of ballot titles and actual text of measures in notices provided by mailing or publication
1-40-127. Ordinances - effective, when - referendum (Repealed)
1-40-128. Ordinances, how proposed - conflicting measures (Repealed)
1-40-129. Voting on ordinances (Repealed)
1-40-130. Unlawful acts - penalty
1-40-131. Tampering with initiative or referendum petition
1-40-132. Enforcement
1-40-133. Retention of petitions
1-40-134. Withdrawal of initiative petition
1-40-135. Petition entities - requirements - definition

  
 
1-40-101. Legislative declaration

(1) The general assembly declares that it is not the intention of this article to limit or abridge in any manner the powers reserved to the people in the initiative and referendum, but rather to properly safeguard, protect, and preserve inviolate for them these modern instrumentalities of democratic government.

(2) (a) The general assembly finds, determines, and declares that:

(I) The initiative process relies upon the truthfulness of circulators who obtain the petition signatures to qualify a ballot issue for the statewide ballot and that during the 2008 general election, the honesty of many petition circulators was at issue because of practices that included: Using third parties to circulate petition sections, even though the third parties did not sign the circulator's affidavit, were not of legal age to act as circulators, and were paid in cash to conceal their identities; providing false names or residential addresses in the circulator's affidavits, a practice that permits circulators to evade detection by persons challenging the secretary of state's sufficiency determination; circulating petition sections without even a rudimentary understanding of the legal requirements relating to petition circulation; and obtaining the signatures of persons who purported to notarize circulator affidavits, even though such persons were not legally authorized to act as notaries or administer the required oath;

(II) The per signature compensation system used by many petition entities provides an incentive for circulators to collect as many signatures as possible, without regard for whether all petition signers are registered electors; and

(III) Many petition circulator affidavits are thus executed without regard for specific requirements of law that are designed to assist in the prevention of fraud, abuse, and mistake in the initiative process.

(b) The general assembly further finds, determines, and declares that:

(I) Because petition circulators who reside in other states typically leave Colorado immediately after petitions are submitted to the secretary of state for verification, a full and fair examination of fraud related to petition circulation is frustrated, and as a result, the secretary of state has been forced to give effect to certain circulator affidavits that were not properly verified and thus were not prima facie evidence of the validity of petition signatures on affected petition sections; and

(II) The courts have not had authority to exercise jurisdiction over fraudulent acts by circulators and notaries public in connection with petition signatures reviewed as part of the secretary of state's random sample.

(c) Therefore, the general assembly finds, determines, and declares that:

(I) As a result of the problems identified in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection (2), one or more ballot measures appeared on the statewide ballot at the 2008 general election even though significant numbers of the underlying petition signatures were obtained in direct violation of Colorado law and the accuracy of the secretary of state's determination of sufficiency could not be fully evaluated by the district court; and

(II) For the initiative process to operate as an honest expression of the voters' reserved legislative power, it is essential that circulators truthfully verify all elements of their circulator affidavits and make themselves available to participate in challenges to the secretary of state's determination of petition sufficiency.

Top

1-40-102. Definitions

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

(1) "Ballot issue" means a nonrecall, citizen-initiated petition or legislatively-referred measure which is authorized by the state constitution, including a question as defined in sections 1-41-102 (3) and 1-41-103 (3), enacted in Senate Bill 93-98.

(2) "Ballot title" means the language which is printed on the ballot which is comprised of the submission clause and the title.

(3) (Deleted by amendment, L. 95, p. 430, § 2, effective May 8, 1995.)

(3.5) "Circulator" means a person who presents to other persons for possible signature a petition to place a measure on the ballot by initiative or referendum.

(3.7) "Designated representative of the proponents" or "designated representative" means a person designated pursuant to section 1-40-104 to represent the proponents in all matters affecting the petition.

(4) "Draft" means the typewritten proposed text of the initiative which, if passed, becomes the actual language of the constitution or statute, together with language concerning placement of the measure in the constitution or statutes.

(5) (Deleted by amendment, L. 95, p. 430, § 2, effective May 8, 1995.)

(6) "Section" means a bound compilation of initiative forms approved by the secretary of state, which shall include pages that contain the warning required by section 1-40-110 (1), the ballot title, and a copy of the proposed measure; succeeding pages that contain the warning, the ballot title, and ruled lines numbered consecutively for registered electors' signatures; and a final page that contains the affidavit required by section 1-40-111 (2). Each section shall be consecutively prenumbered by the petitioner prior to circulation.

(7) (Deleted by amendment, L. 95, p. 430, § 2, effective May 8, 1995.)

(8) "Submission clause" means the language which is attached to the title to form a question which can be answered by "yes" or "no".

(9) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2000, p. 1621, § 3, effective August 2, 2000.)

(10) "Title" means a brief statement that fairly and accurately represents the true intent and meaning of the proposed text of the initiative.

Top

1-40-103. Applicability of article

(1) This article shall apply to all state ballot issues that are authorized by the state constitution unless otherwise provided by statute, charter, or ordinance.

(2) The laws pertaining to municipal initiatives, referenda, and referred measures are governed by the provisions of article 11 of title 31, C.R.S.

(3) The laws pertaining to county petitions and referred measures are governed by the provisions of section 30-11-103.5, C.R.S.

(4) The laws pertaining to school district petitions and referred measures are governed by the provisions of section 22-30-104 (4), C.R.S.

 

1-40-104. Designated representatives

At the time of any filing of a draft as provided in this article, the proponents shall designate the names and mailing addresses of two persons who shall represent the proponents in all matters affecting the petition and to whom all notices or information concerning the petition shall be mailed.

Top

1-40-105. Filing procedure - review and comment - amendments - filing with secretary of state

(1) The original typewritten draft of every initiative petition for a proposed law or amendment to the state constitution to be enacted by the people, before it is signed by any elector, shall be submitted by the proponents of the petition to the directors of the legislative council and the office of legislative legal services for review and comment. Proponents are encouraged to write such drafts in plain, nontechnical language and in a clear and coherent manner using words with common and everyday meaning which are understandable to the average reader. Upon request, any agency in the executive department shall assist in reviewing and preparing comments on the petition. No later than two weeks after the date of submission of the original draft, unless it is withdrawn by the proponents, the directors of the legislative council and the office of legislative legal services, or their designees, shall render their comments to the proponents of the petition concerning the format or contents of the petition at a meeting open to the public. Where appropriate, such comments shall also contain suggested editorial changes to promote compliance with the plain language provisions of this section. Except with the permission of the proponents, the comments shall not be disclosed to any person other than the proponents prior to the public meeting with the proponents of the petition.

(2) After the public meeting but before submission to the secretary of state for title setting, the proponents may amend the petition in response to some or all of the comments of the directors of the legislative council and the office of legislative legal services, or their designees. If any substantial amendment is made to the petition, other than an amendment in direct response to the comments of the directors of the legislative council and the office of legislative legal services, the amended petition shall be resubmitted to the directors for comment in accordance with subsection (1) of this section prior to submittal to the secretary of state as provided in subsection (4) of this section. If the directors have no additional comments concerning the amended petition, they may so notify the proponents in writing, and, in such case, a hearing on the amended petition pursuant to subsection (1) of this section is not required.

(3) To the extent possible, drafts shall be worded with simplicity and clarity and so that the effect of the measure will not be misleading or likely to cause confusion among voters. The draft shall not present the issue to be decided in such manner that a vote for the measure would be a vote against the proposition or viewpoint that the voter believes that he or she is casting a vote for or, conversely, that a vote against the measure would be a vote for a proposition or viewpoint that the voter is against.

(4) After the conference provided in subsections (1) and (2) of this section, a copy of the original typewritten draft submitted to the directors of the legislative council and the office of legislative legal services, a copy of the amended draft with changes highlighted or otherwise indicated, if any amendments were made following the last conference conducted pursuant to subsections (1) and (2) of this section, and an original final draft which gives the final language for printing shall be submitted to the secretary of state without any title, submission clause, or ballot title providing the designation by which the voters shall express their choice for or against the proposed law or constitutional amendment.

 Top

1-40-106. Title board - meetings - ballot title - initiative and referendum

(1) For ballot issues, beginning with the first submission of a draft after an election, the secretary of state shall convene a title board consisting of the secretary of state, the attorney general, and the director of the office of legislative legal services or their designees. The title board, by majority vote, shall proceed to designate and fix a proper fair title for each proposed law or constitutional amendment, together with a submission clause, at public meetings to be held at the hour determined by the title board on the first and third Wednesdays of each month in which a draft or a motion for reconsideration has been submitted to the secretary of state. To be considered at such meeting, a draft shall be submitted to the secretary of state no later than 3 p.m. on the twelfth day before the meeting at which the draft is to be considered by the title board, and the designated representatives of the proponents must comply with the requirements of subsection (4) of this section. The first meeting of the title board shall be held no sooner than the first Wednesday in December after an election, and the last meeting shall be held no later than the third Wednesday in April in the year in which the measure is to be voted on.

(2) (Deleted by amendment, L. 95, p. 431, § 4, effective May 8, 1995.)

(3) (a) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2000, p. 1620, § 1, effective August 2, 2000.)

(b) In setting a title, the title board shall consider the public confusion that might be caused by misleading titles and shall, whenever practicable, avoid titles for which the general understanding of the effect of a "yes/for" or "no/against" vote will be unclear. The title for the proposed law or constitutional amendment, which shall correctly and fairly express the true intent and meaning thereof, together with the ballot title and submission clause, shall be completed, except as otherwise required by section 1-40-107, within two weeks after the first meeting of the title board. Immediately upon completion, the secretary of state shall deliver the same with the original to the designated representatives of the proponents, keeping the copy with a record of the action taken thereon. Ballot titles shall be brief, shall not conflict with those selected for any petition previously filed for the same election, and, shall be in the form of a question which may be answered "yes/for" (to vote in favor of the proposed law or constitutional amendment) or "no/against" (to vote against the proposed law or constitutional amendment) and which shall unambiguously state the principle of the provision sought to be added, amended, or repealed.

(c) In order to avoid confusion between a proposition and an amendment, as such terms are used in section 1-5-407 (5) (b), the title board shall describe a proposition in a ballot title as a "change to the Colorado Revised Statutes" and an amendment as an "amendment to the Colorado constitution".

(d) A ballot title for a statewide referred measure must be in the same form as a ballot title for an initiative as required by paragraph (c) of this subsection (3).

(4) (a) Each designated representative of the proponents shall appear at any title board meeting at which the designated representative's ballot issue is considered.

(b) Each designated representative of the proponents shall certify by a notarized affidavit that the designated representative is familiar with the provisions of this article, including but not limited to the prohibition on circulators' use of false addresses in completing circulator affidavits and the summary prepared by the secretary of state pursuant to paragraph (c) of this subsection (4). The affidavit shall include a physical address at which process may be served on the designated representative. The designated representative shall sign and file the affidavit with the secretary of state at the first title board meeting at which the designated representative's ballot issue is considered.

(c) The secretary of state shall prepare a summary of the designated representatives of the proponents' responsibilities that are set forth in this article.

(d) The title board shall not set a title for a ballot issue if either designated representative of the proponents fails to appear at a title board meeting or file the affidavit as required by paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection (4). The title board may consider the ballot issue at its next meeting, but the requirements of this subsection (4) shall continue to apply.

(e) The secretary of state shall provide a notary public for the designated representatives at the title board meeting.

Top

1-40-106.5. Single-subject requirements for initiated measures and referred constitutional amendments - legislative declaration

(1) The general assembly hereby finds, determines, and declares that:

(a) Section 1 (5.5) of article V and section 2 (3) of article XIX of the state constitution require that every constitutional amendment or law proposed by initiative and every constitutional amendment proposed by the general assembly be limited to a single subject, which shall be clearly expressed in its title;

(b) Such provisions were referred by the general assembly to the people for their approval at the 1994 general election pursuant to Senate Concurrent Resolution 93-4;

(c) The language of such provisions was drawn from section 21 of article V of the state constitution, which requires that every bill, except general appropriation bills, shall be limited to a single subject, which shall be clearly expressed in its title;

(d) The Colorado supreme court has held that the constitutional single-subject requirement for bills was designed to prevent or inhibit various inappropriate or misleading practices that might otherwise occur, and the intent of the general assembly in referring to the people section 1 (5.5) of article V and section 2 (3) of article XIX was to protect initiated measures and referred constitutional amendments from similar practices;

(e) The practices intended by the general assembly to be inhibited by section 1 (5.5) of article V and section 2 (3) of article XIX are as follows:

(I) To forbid the treatment of incongruous subjects in the same measure, especially the practice of putting together in one measure subjects having no necessary or proper connection, for the purpose of enlisting in support of the measure the advocates of each measure, and thus securing the enactment of measures that could not be carried upon their merits;

(II) To prevent surreptitious measures and apprise the people of the subject of each measure by the title, that is, to prevent surprise and fraud from being practiced upon voters.

(2) It is the intent of the general assembly that section 1 (5.5) of article V and section 2 (3) of article XIX be liberally construed, so as to avert the practices against which they are aimed and, at the same time, to preserve and protect the right of initiative and referendum.

(3) It is further the intent of the general assembly that, in setting titles pursuant to section 1 (5.5) of article V, the initiative title setting review board created in section 1-40-106 should apply judicial decisions construing the constitutional single-subject requirement for bills and should follow the same rules employed by the general assembly in considering titles for bills.

Top

1-40-107. Rehearing - appeal - fees - signing

(1) (a) Any person presenting an initiative petition or any registered elector who is not satisfied with a decision of the title board with respect to whether a petition contains more than a single subject pursuant to section 1-40-106.5, or who is not satisfied with the titles and submission clause provided by the title board and who claims that they are unfair or that they do not fairly express the true meaning and intent of the proposed state law or constitutional amendment may file a motion for a rehearing with the secretary of state within seven days after the decision is made or the titles and submission clause are set.

(b) A motion for rehearing must be typewritten and set forth with particularity the grounds for rehearing. If the motion claims that the petition contains more than a single subject, then the motion must, at a minimum, include a short and plain statement of the reasons for the claim. If the motion claims that the title and submission clause set by the title board are unfair or that they do not fairly express the true meaning and intent of the proposed state law or constitutional amendment, then the motion must identify the specific wording that is challenged.

(c) The motion for rehearing shall be heard at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the title board; except that, if the title board is unable to complete action on all matters scheduled for that day, consideration of any motion for rehearing may be continued to the next available day, and except that, if the titles and submission clause protested were set at the last meeting in April, the motion shall be heard within forty-eight hours after the expiration of the seven-day period for the filing of such motions. The decision of the title board on any motion for rehearing shall be final, except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, and no further motion for rehearing may be filed or considered by the title board.

(2) If any person presenting an initiative petition for which a motion for a rehearing is filed, any registered elector who filed a motion for a rehearing pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, or any other registered elector who appeared before the title board in support of or in opposition to a motion for rehearing is not satisfied with the ruling of the title board upon the motion, then the secretary of state shall furnish such person, upon request, a certified copy of the petition with the titles and submission clause of the proposed law or constitutional amendment, together with a certified copy of the motion for rehearing and of the ruling thereon. If filed with the clerk of the supreme court within seven days thereafter, the matter shall be disposed of promptly, consistent with the rights of the parties, either affirming the action of the title board or reversing it, in which latter case the court shall remand it with instructions, pointing out where the title board is in error.

(3) The secretary of state shall be allowed a fee which shall be determined and collected pursuant to section 24-21-104 (3), C.R.S., for certifying a record of any proceedings before the title board. The clerk of the supreme court shall receive one-half the ordinary docket fee for docketing any such cause, all of which shall be paid by the parties desiring a review of such proceedings.

(4) No petition for any initiative measure shall be circulated nor any signature thereto have any force or effect which has been signed before the titles and submission clause have been fixed and determined as provided in section 1-40-106 and this section.

(5) In the event a motion for rehearing is filed in accordance with this section, the period for filing a petition in accordance with section 1-40-108 shall not begin until a final decision concerning the motion is rendered by the title board or the Colorado supreme court; except that under no circumstances shall the period for filing a petition be extended beyond three months and three weeks prior to the election at which the petition is to be voted upon.

(6) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2000, p. 1622, § 5, effective August 2, 2000.)

(7) (Deleted by amendment, L. 95, p. 432, § 5, effective May 8, 1995.)

 

1-40-108. Petition - time of filing

(1) No petition for any ballot issue shall be of any effect unless filed with the secretary of state within six months from the date that the titles and submission clause have been fixed and determined pursuant to the provisions of sections 1-40-106 and 1-40-107 and unless filed with the secretary of state no later than three months and three weeks before the election at which it is to be voted upon. A petition for a ballot issue for the election to be held in November of odd-numbered years shall be filed with the secretary of state no later than three months and three weeks before such odd-year election. All filings under this section must be made by 3 p.m. on the day of filing.

(2) (Deleted by amendment, L. 95, p. 433, § 6, effective May 8, 1995.)

Top

1-40-109. Signatures required - withdrawal

(1) No petition for any initiated law or amendment to the state constitution shall be of any force or effect, nor shall the proposed law or amendment to the state constitution be submitted to the people of the state of Colorado for adoption or rejection at the polls, as is by law provided for, unless the petition for the submission of the initiated law or amendment to the state constitution is signed by the number of electors required by the state constitution.

(2) (Deleted by amendment, L. 95, p. 433, § 7, effective May 8, 1995.)

(3) Any person who is a registered elector may sign a petition for any ballot issue for which the elector is eligible to vote. A registered elector who signs a petition may withdraw his or her signature from the petition by filing a written request for such withdrawal with the secretary of state at any time on or before the day that the petition is filed with the secretary of state.



1-40-110. Warning - ballot title

(1) At the top of each page of every initiative or referendum petition section shall be printed, in a form as prescribed by the secretary of state, the following:

WARNING:
IT IS AGAINST THE LAW:

For anyone to sign any initiative or referendum petition with any name other than his or her own or to knowingly sign his or her name more than once for the same measure or to knowingly sign a petition when not a registered elector who is eligible to vote on the measure.

DO NOT SIGN THIS PETITION UNLESS YOU ARE A REGISTERED ELECTOR AND ELIGIBLE TO VOTE ON THIS MEASURE. TO BE A REGISTERED ELECTOR, YOU MUST BE A CITIZEN OF COLORADO AND REGISTERED TO VOTE.

Before signing this petition, you are encouraged to read the text or the title of the proposed initiative or referred measure.

By signing this petition, you are indicating that you want this measure to be included on the ballot as a proposed change to the (Colorado constitution/Colorado Revised Statutes). If a sufficient number of registered electors sign this petition, this measure will appear on the ballot at the November (year) election.


(2) The ballot title for the measure shall then be printed on each page following the warning.

Top

1-40-111. Signatures - affidavits - notarization - list of circulators and notaries

(1) Any initiative or referendum petition shall be signed only by registered electors who are eligible to vote on the measure. Each registered elector shall sign his or her own signature and shall print his or her name, the address at which he or she resides, including the street number and name, the city and town, the county, and the date of signing. Each registered elector signing a petition shall be encouraged by the circulator of the petition to sign the petition in ink. In the event a registered elector is physically disabled or is illiterate and wishes to sign the petition, the elector shall sign or make his or her mark in the space so provided. Any person, but not a circulator, may assist the disabled or illiterate elector in completing the remaining information required by this subsection (1). The person providing assistance shall sign his or her name and address and shall state that such assistance was given to the disabled or illiterate elector.

(2) (a) To each petition section shall be attached a signed, notarized, and dated affidavit executed by the person who circulated the petition section, which shall include his or her printed name, the address at which he or she resides, including the street name and number, the city or town, the county, and the date he or she signed the affidavit; that he or she has read and understands the laws governing the circulation of petitions; that he or she was a resident of the state, a citizen of the United States, and at least eighteen years of age at the time the section of the petition was circulated and signed by the listed electors; that he or she circulated the section of the petition; that each signature thereon was affixed in the circulator's presence; that each signature thereon is the signature of the person whose name it purports to be; that to the best of the circulator's knowledge and belief each of the persons signing the petition section was, at the time of signing, a registered elector; that he or she has not paid or will not in the future pay and that he or she believes that no other person has paid or will pay, directly or indirectly, any money or other thing of value to any signer for the purpose of inducing or causing such signer to affix his or her signature to the petition; that he or she understands that he or she can be prosecuted for violating the laws governing the circulation of petitions, including the requirement that a circulator truthfully completed the affidavit and that each signature thereon was affixed in the circulator's presence; and that he or she understands that failing to make himself or herself available to be deposed and to provide testimony in the event of a protest shall invalidate the petition section if it is challenged on the grounds of circulator fraud.

(b) (I) A notary public shall not notarize an affidavit required pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection (2), unless:

(A) The circulator is in the physical presence of the notary public;

(B) The circulator has dated the affidavit and fully and accurately completed all of the personal information on the affidavit required pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection (2); and

(C) The circulator presents a form of identification, as such term is defined in section 1-1-104 (19.5). A notary public shall specify the form of identification presented to him or her on a blank line, which shall be part of the affidavit form.

(II) An affidavit that is notarized in violation of any provision of subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (b) shall be invalid.

(III) If the date signed by a circulator on an affidavit required pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection (2) is different from the date signed by the notary public, the affidavit shall be invalid. If, notwithstanding sub-subparagraph (B) of subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (b), a notary public notarizes an affidavit that has not been dated by the circulator, the notarization date shall not cure the circulator's failure to sign the affidavit and the affidavit shall be invalid.

(c) The secretary of state shall reject any section of a petition that does not have attached thereto a valid notarized affidavit that complies with all of the requirements set forth in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection (2). Any signature added to a section of a petition after the affidavit has been executed shall be invalid.

(3) (a) As part of any court proceeding or hearing conducted by the secretary of state related to a protest of all or part of a petition section, the circulator of such petition section shall be required to make himself or herself available to be deposed and to testify in person, by telephone, or by any other means permitted under the Colorado rules of civil procedure. Except as set forth in paragraph (b) of this subsection (3), the petition section that is the subject of the protest shall be invalid if a circulator fails to comply with the requirement set forth in this paragraph (a) for any protest that includes an allegation of circulator fraud that is pled with particularity regarding:

(I) Forgery of a registered elector's signature;

(II) Circulation of a petition section, in whole or part, by anyone other than the person who signs the affidavit attached to the petition section;

(III) Use of a false circulator name or address in the affidavit; or

(IV) Payment of money or other things of value to any person for the purpose of inducing the person to sign the petition.

(b) Upon the finding by a district court or the secretary of state that the circulator of a petition section is unable to be deposed or to testify at trial or a hearing conducted by the secretary of state because the circulator has died, become mentally incompetent, or become medically incapacitated and physically unable to testify by any means whatsoever, the provisions of paragraph (a) of this subsection (3) shall not apply to invalidate a petition section circulated by the circulator.

(4) The proponents of a petition or an issue committee acting on the proponents' behalf shall maintain a list of the names and addresses of all circulators who circulated petition sections on behalf of the proponents and notaries public who notarized petition sections on behalf of the proponents and the petition section numbers that each circulator circulated and that each notary public notarized. A copy of the list shall be filed with the secretary of state along with the petition. If a copy of the list is not filed, the secretary of state shall prepare the list and charge the proponents a fee, which shall be determined and collected pursuant to section 24-21-104 (3), C.R.S., to cover the cost of the preparation. Once filed or prepared by the secretary of state, the list shall be a public record for purposes of article 72 of title 24, C.R.S.

Top

1-40-112. Circulators - requirements - training

(1) No person shall circulate a petition for an initiative or referendum measure unless the person is a resident of the state, a citizen of the United States, and at least eighteen years of age at the time the petition is circulated.

(2) (a) A circulator who is not to be paid for circulating a petition concerning a ballot issue shall display an identification badge that includes the words "VOLUNTEER CIRCULATOR" in bold-faced type that is clearly legible.

(b) A circulator who is to be paid for circulating a petition concerning a ballot issue shall display an identification badge that includes the words "PAID CIRCULATOR" in bold-faced type that is clearly legible and the name and telephone number of the individual employing the circulator.

(3) The secretary of state shall develop circulator training programs for paid and volunteer circulators. Such programs shall be conducted in the broadest, most cost-effective manner available to the secretary of state, including but not limited to training sessions for persons associated with the proponents or a petition entity, as defined in section 1-40-135 (1), and by electronic and remote access. The proponents of an initiative petition or the representatives of a petition entity shall inform paid and volunteer circulators of the availability of these training programs as one manner of complying with the requirement set forth in the circulator's affidavit that a circulator read and understand the laws pertaining to petition circulation.

(4) It shall be unlawful for any person to pay a circulator more than twenty percent of his or her compensation for circulating petitions on a per signature or petition section basis.

 

1-40-113. Form - representatives of signers

(1) (a) Each section of a petition shall be printed on a form as prescribed by the secretary of state. No petition shall be printed, published, or otherwise circulated unless the form and the first printer's proof of the petition have been approved by the secretary of state. The designated representatives of the proponent are responsible for filing the printer's proof with the secretary of state, and the secretary of state shall notify the designated representatives whether the printer's proof is approved. Each petition section shall designate by name and mailing address two persons who shall represent the signers thereof in all matters affecting the same. The secretary of state shall assure that the petition contains only the matters required by this article and contains no extraneous material. All sections of any petition shall be prenumbered serially, and the circulation of any petition section described by this article other than personally by a circulator is prohibited. Any petition section circulated in whole or in part by anyone other than the person who signs the affidavit attached to the petition section shall be invalid. Any petition section that fails to conform to the requirements of this article or is circulated in a manner other than that permitted in this article shall be invalid.

(b) The secretary of state shall notify the proponents at the time a petition is approved pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection (1) that the proponents must register an issue committee pursuant to section 1-45-108 (3.3) if two hundred or more petition sections are printed or accepted in connection with circulation of the petition.

(2) Any disassembly of a section of the petition which has the effect of separating the affidavits from the signatures shall render that section of the petition invalid and of no force and effect.

(3) Prior to the time of filing, the persons designated in the petition to represent the signers shall bind the sections of the petition in convenient volumes consisting of one hundred sections of the petition if one hundred or more sections are available or, if less than one hundred sections are available to make a volume, consisting of all sections that are available. Each volume consisting of less than one hundred sections shall be marked on the first page of the volume. However, any volume that contains more or less than one hundred sections, due only to the oversight of the designated representatives of the signers or their staff, shall not result in a finding of insufficiency of signatures therein. Each section of each volume shall include the affidavits required by section 1-40-111 (2), together with the sheets containing the signatures accompanying the same. These bound volumes shall be filed with the secretary of state by the designated representatives of the proponents.

Top

1-40-114. Petitions - not election materials - no bilingual language requirement

The general assembly hereby determines that initiative petitions are not election materials or information covered by the federal "Voting Rights Act of 1965", and therefore are not required to be printed in any language other than English to be circulated in any county in Colorado.

 

1-40-115. Ballot - voting - publication

(1) Measures shall appear upon the official ballot by ballot title only. The measures shall be placed on the ballot in the order in which they were certified to the ballot and as provided in section 1-5-407 (5), (5.3), and (5.4).

(2) (a) All ballot measures shall be printed on the official ballot in that order, together with their respective letters and numbers prefixed in bold-faced type. A ballot issue arising under section 20 of article X of the state constitution shall appear in capital letters. Each ballot shall have the following explanation printed one time at the beginning of such ballot measures: "Ballot questions referred by the general assembly or any political subdivision are listed by letter, and ballot questions initiated by the people are listed numerically. A ballot question listed as an 'amendment' proposes a change to the Colorado constitution, and a ballot question listed as a 'proposition' proposes a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes. A 'yes/for' vote on any ballot question is a vote in favor of changing current law or existing circumstances, and a 'no/against' vote on any ballot question is a vote against changing current law or existing circumstances." Each ballot title shall appear on the official ballot but once. For each ballot title that is an amendment, the amendment number or letter shall be immediately followed by the description "(CONSTITUTIONAL)". For each ballot title that is a proposition, the proposition number or letters shall be immediately followed by the description "(STATUTORY)". Each ballot title shall be separated from the other ballot titles next to it by heavy black lines and shall be followed by the words "YES/FOR" and "NO/AGAINST", along with a place for an eligible elector to designate his or her choice by a mark as instructed.

(b) For purposes of preparing an audio ballot as part of an accessible voting system:

(I) In lieu of the parenthetical description preceding a ballot title that is an amendment required by paragraph (a) of this subsection (2), the audio ballot shall include the following: "The following ballot question proposes a change to the Colorado constitution."; and

(II) In lieu of the parenthetical description preceding a ballot title that is a proposition required by paragraph (a) of this subsection (2), the audio ballot shall include the following: "The following ballot question proposes a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes.".

(3) A voter desiring to vote for the measure shall designate his or her choice by a mark in the place for "yes/for"; a voter desiring to vote against the measure shall designate his or her choice by a mark in the place for "no/against"; and the votes marked shall be counted accordingly. Any measure approved by the people of the state shall be printed with the acts of the next general assembly.

Top

1-40-116. Verification - ballot issues - random sampling

(1) For ballot issues, each section of a petition to which there is attached an affidavit of the registered elector who circulated the petition that each signature thereon is the signature of the person whose name it purports to be and that to the best of the knowledge and belief of the affiant each of the persons signing the petition was at the time of signing a registered elector shall be prima facie evidence that the signatures are genuine and true, that the petitions were circulated in accordance with the provisions of this article, and that the form of the petition is in accordance with this article.

(2) Upon submission of the petition, the secretary of state shall examine each name and signature on the petition. The petition shall not be available to the public for a period of no more than thirty calendar days for the examination. The secretary shall assure that the information required by sections 1-40-110 and 1-40-111 is complete, that the information on each signature line was written by the person making the signature, and that no signatures have been added to any sections of the petition after the affidavit required by section 1-40-111 (2) has been executed.

(3) No signature shall be counted unless the signer is a registered elector and eligible to vote on the measure. A person shall be deemed a registered elector if the person's name and address appear on the master voting list kept by the secretary of state at the time of signing the section of the petition. In addition, the secretary of state shall not count the signature of any person whose information is not complete or was not completed by the elector or a person qualified to assist the elector. The secretary of state may adopt rules consistent with this subsection (3) for the examination and verification of signatures.

(4) The secretary of state shall verify the signatures on the petition by use of random sampling. The random sample of signatures to be verified shall be drawn so that every signature filed with the secretary of state shall be given an equal opportunity to be included in the sample. The secretary of state is authorized to engage in rule-making to establish the appropriate methodology for conducting such random sample. The random sampling shall include an examination of no less than five percent of the signatures, but in no event less than four thousand signatures. If the random sample verification establishes that the number of valid signatures is ninety percent or less of the number of registered eligible electors needed to find the petition sufficient, the petition shall be deemed to be not sufficient. If the random sample verification establishes that the number of valid signatures totals one hundred ten percent or more of the number of required signatures of registered eligible electors, the petition shall be deemed sufficient. If the random sampling shows the number of valid signatures to be more than ninety percent but less than one hundred ten percent of the number of signatures of registered eligible electors needed to declare the petition sufficient, the secretary of state shall order the examination and verification of each signature filed.

Top

1-40-117. Statement of sufficiency - statewide issues

(1) After examining the petition, the secretary of state shall issue a statement as to whether a sufficient number of valid signatures appears to have been submitted to certify the petition to the ballot.

(2) If the petition was verified by random sample, the statement shall contain the total number of signatures submitted and whether the number of signatures presumed valid was ninety percent of the required total or less or one hundred ten percent of the required total or more.

(3) (a) If the secretary declares that the petition appears not to have a sufficient number of valid signatures, the statement issued by the secretary shall specify the number of sufficient and insufficient signatures. The secretary shall identify by section number and line number within the section those signatures found to be insufficient and the grounds for the insufficiency. Such information shall be kept on file for public inspection in accordance with section 1-40-118.

(b) In the event the secretary of state issues a statement declaring that a petition, having first been submitted with the required number of signatures, appears not to have a sufficient number of valid signatures, the designated representatives of the proponents may cure the insufficiency by filing an addendum to the original petition for the purpose of offering such number of additional signatures as will cure the insufficiency. No addendum offered as a cure shall be considered unless the addendum conforms to requirements for petitions outlined in sections 1-40-110, 1-40-111, and 1-40-113 and unless the addendum is filed with the secretary of state within the fifteen-day period after the insufficiency is declared and unless filed with the secretary of state no later than three months and three weeks before the election at which the initiative petition is to be voted on. All filings under this paragraph (b) shall be made by 3 p.m. on the day of filing. Upon submission of a timely filed addendum, the secretary of state shall order the examination and verification of each signature on the addendum. The addendum shall not be available to the public for a period of up to ten calendar days for such examination. After examining the petition, the secretary of state shall, within ten calendar days, issue a statement as to whether the addendum cures the insufficiency found in the original petition.

Top

1-40-118. Protest

(1) A protest in writing, under oath, together with three copies thereof, may be filed in the district court for the county in which the petition has been filed by some registered elector, within thirty days after the secretary of state issues a statement as to whether the petition has a sufficient number of valid signatures, which statement shall be issued no later than thirty calendar days after the petition has been filed. If the secretary of state fails to issue a statement within thirty calendar days, the petition shall be deemed sufficient. Regardless of whether the secretary of state has issued a statement of sufficiency or if the petition is deemed sufficient because the secretary of state has failed to issue a statement of sufficiency within thirty calendar days, no further agency action shall be necessary for the district court to have jurisdiction to consider the protest. During the period a petition is being examined by the secretary of state for sufficiency, the petition shall not be available to the public; except that such period shall not exceed thirty calendar days. Immediately after the secretary of state issues a statement of sufficiency or, if the petition is deemed sufficient because the secretary of state has failed to issue the statement, after thirty calendar days, the secretary of state shall make the petition available to the public for copying upon request.

(2) (a) If the secretary of state conducted a random sample of the petitions and did not verify each signature, the protest shall set forth with particularity the defects in the procedure used by the secretary of state in the verification of the petition or the grounds for challenging individual signatures or petition sections, as well as individual signatures or petition sections protested. If the secretary of state verified each name on the petition sections, the protest shall set forth with particularity the grounds of the protest and the individual signatures or petition sections protested.

(b) Regardless of the method used by the secretary of state to verify signatures, the grounds for challenging individual signatures or petition sections pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection (2) shall include, but are not limited to, the use of a petition form that does not comply with the provisions of this article, fraud, and a violation of any provision of this article or any other law that, in either case, prevents fraud, abuse, or mistake in the petition process.

(c) If the protest is limited to an allegation that there were defects in the secretary of state's statement of sufficiency based on a random sample to verify signatures, the district court may review all signatures in the random sample.

(d) No signature may be challenged that is not identified in the protest by section number, line number, name, and reason why the secretary of state is in error. If any party is protesting the finding of the secretary of state regarding the registration of a signer, the protest shall be accompanied by an affidavit of the elector or a copy of the election record of the signer.

(2.5) (a) If a district court finds that there are invalid signatures or petition sections as a result of fraud committed by any person involved in petition circulation, the registered elector who instituted the proceedings may commence a civil action to recover reasonable attorney fees and costs from the person responsible for such invalid signatures or petition sections.

(b) A registered elector who files a protest shall be entitled to the recovery of reasonable attorney fees and costs from a proponent of an initiative petition who defends the petition against a protest or the proponent's attorney, upon a determination by the district court that the defense, or any part thereof, lacked substantial justification or that the defense, or any part thereof, was interposed for delay or harassment. A proponent who defends a petition against a protest shall be entitled to the recovery of reasonable attorney fees and costs from the registered elector who files a protest or the registered elector's attorney, upon a determination by the district court that the protest, or any part thereof, lacked substantial justification or that the protest, or any part thereof, was interposed for delay or harassment. No attorney fees may be awarded under this paragraph (b) unless the district court has first considered the provisions of section 13-17-102 (5) and (6), C.R.S. For purposes of this paragraph (b), "lacked substantial justification" means substantially frivolous, substantially groundless, or substantially vexatious.

(c) A district court conducting a hearing pursuant to this article shall permit a circulator who is not available at the time of the hearing to testify by telephone or by any other means permitted under the Colorado rules of civil procedure.

(3) (Deleted by amendment, L. 95, p. 435, § 13, effective May 8, 1995.)

(4) The secretary of state shall furnish a requesting protestor with a computer tape or microfiche listing of the names of all registered electors in the state and shall charge a fee which shall be determined and collected pursuant to section 24-21-104 (3), C.R.S., to cover the cost of furnishing the listing.

(5) Written entries that are made by petition signers, circulators, and notaries public on a petition section that substantially comply with the requirements of this article shall be deemed valid by the secretary of state or any court, unless:

(a) Fraud, as specified in section 1-40-135 (2) (c), excluding subparagraph (V) of said paragraph (c), is established by a preponderance of the evidence;

(b) A violation of any provision of this article or any other provision of law that, in either case, prevents fraud, abuse, or mistake in the petition process, is established by a preponderance of the evidence;

(c) A circulator used a petition form that does not comply with the provisions of this article or has not been approved by the secretary of state.

Top

1-40-119. Procedure for hearings

At any hearing held under this article, the party protesting the finding of the secretary of state concerning the sufficiency of signatures shall have the burden of proof. Hearings shall be had as soon as is conveniently possible and shall be concluded within thirty days after the commencement thereof, and the result of such hearings shall be forthwith certified to the designated representatives of the signers and to the protestors of the petition. The hearing shall be subject to the provisions of the Colorado rules of civil procedure. Upon application, the decision of the court shall be reviewed by the Colorado supreme court.

 

1-40-120. Filing in federal court

In case a complaint has been filed with the federal district court on the grounds that a petition is insufficient due to failure to comply with any federal law, rule, or regulation, the petition may be withdrawn by the two persons designated pursuant to section 1-40-104 to represent the signers of the petition and, within fifteen days after the court has issued its order in the matter, may be amended and refiled as an original petition. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the timely filing of a protest to any original petition, including one that has been amended and refiled. No person shall be entitled, pursuant to this section, to amend an amended petition.

 

1-40-121. Designated representatives - expenditures related to petition circulation - report - penalty - definitions

(1) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:

(a) "Expenditure" shall have the same meaning as set forth in section 2 (8) of article XXVIII of the state constitution and includes a payment to a circulator.

(b) "False address" means the street address, post office box, city, state, or any other designation of place used in a circulator's affidavit that does not represent the circulator's correct address of permanent domicile at the time he or she circulated petitions. "False address" does not include an address that merely omits the designation of "street", "avenue", "boulevard", or any comparable term.

(c) "Report" means the report required to be filed pursuant to subsection (2) of this section.

(2) No later than ten days after the date that the petition is filed with the secretary of state, the designated representatives of the proponents must submit to the secretary of state a report that:

(a) States the dates of circulation by all circulators who were paid to circulate a section of the petition, the total hours for which each circulator was paid to circulate a section of the petition, the gross amount of wages paid for such hours, and any addresses used by circulators on their affidavits that the designated representatives or their agents have determined, prior to petition filing, to be false addresses;

(b) Includes any other expenditures made by any person or issue committee related to the circulation of petitions for signatures. Such information shall include the name of the person or issue committee and the amount of the expenditure.

(3) (a) Within ten days after the date the report is filed, a registered elector may file a complaint alleging a violation of the requirements for the report set forth in subsection (2) of this section. The designated representatives of the proponents may cure the alleged violation by filing a report or an addendum to the original report within ten days after the date the complaint is filed. If the violation is not cured, an administrative law judge shall conduct a hearing on the complaint within fourteen days after the date of the additional filing or the deadline for the additional filing, whichever is sooner.

(b) (I) After a hearing is held, if the administrative law judge determines that the designated representatives of the proponents intentionally violated the reporting requirements of this section, the designated representatives shall be subject to a penalty that is equal to three times the amount of any expenditures that were omitted from or erroneously included in the report.

(II) If the administrative law judge determines that the designated representatives intentionally misstated a material fact in the report or omitted a material fact from the report, or if the designated representatives never filed a report, the registered elector who instituted the proceedings may commence a civil action to recover reasonable attorney fees and costs from the designated representatives of the proponents.

(c) Except as otherwise provided in this section, any procedures related to a complaint shall be governed by the "State Administrative Procedure Act", article 4 of title 24, C.R.S.

Top

1-40-122. Certification of ballot titles

(1) The secretary of state, at the time the secretary of state certifies to the county clerk and recorder of each county the names of the candidates for state and district offices for general election, shall also certify to them the ballot titles and numbers of each initiated and referred measure filed in the office of the secretary of state to be voted upon at such election.

(2) Repealed.

 

 1-40-123. Counting of votes - effective date - conflicting provisions

The votes on all measures submitted to the people shall be counted and properly entered after the votes for candidates for office cast at the same election are counted and shall be counted, canvassed, and returned and the result determined and certified in the manner provided by law concerning other elections. The secretary of state who has certified the election shall, without delay, make and transmit to the governor a certificate of election. The measure shall take effect from and after the date of the official declaration of the vote by proclamation of the governor, but not later than thirty days after the votes have been canvassed, as provided in section 1 of article V of the state constitution. A majority of the votes cast thereon shall adopt any measure submitted, and, in case of adoption of conflicting provisions, the one that receives the greatest number of affirmative votes shall prevail in all particulars as to which there is a conflict.

 

1-40-124. Publication

(1) (a) In accordance with section 1 (7.3) of article V of the state constitution, the director of research of the legislative council of the general assembly shall cause to be published at least one time in at least one legal publication of general circulation in each county of the state, compactly and without unnecessary spacing, in not less than eight-point standard type, a true copy of:

(I) The title and text of each constitutional amendment, initiated or referred measure, or part of a measure, to be submitted to the people with the number and form in which the ballot title thereof will be printed in the official ballot; and

(II) The text of each referred or initiated question arising under section 20 of article X of the state constitution, as defined in section 1-41-102 (3), to be submitted to the people with the number and form in which such question will be printed in the official ballot.

(b) The publication may be in the form of a notice printed in a legal newspaper, as defined in sections 24-70-102 and 24-70-103 (1), C.R.S., or in the form of a publication that is printed separately and delivered as an insert in such a newspaper. The director of research of the legislative council may determine which form the publication will take in each legal newspaper. The director may negotiate agreements with one or more legal newspapers, or with any organization that represents such newspapers, to authorize the printing of a separate insert by one or more legal newspapers to be delivered by all of the legal newspapers participating in the agreement.

(c) Where more than one legal newspaper is circulated in a county, the director of research of the legislative council shall select the newspaper or newspapers that will make the publication. In making such selection, the director shall consider the newspapers' circulation and charges.

(d) The amount paid for publication shall be determined by the executive committee of the legislative council and shall be based on available appropriations. In determining the amount, the executive committee may consider the newspaper's then effective current lowest bulk comparable or general rate charged and the rate specified for legal newspapers in section 24-70-107, C.R.S. The director of research of the legislative council shall provide the legal newspapers selected to perform printing in accordance with this subsection (1) either complete slick proofs or mats of the title and text of the proposed constitutional amendment, initiated or referred measure, or part of a measure, and of the text of a referred or initiated question arising under section 20 of article X of the state constitution, as defined in section 1-41-102 (3), at least one week before the publication date.

(e) If no legal newspaper is willing or able to print or distribute the publication in a particular county in accordance with the provisions of this subsection (1), the director of research of the legislative council shall assure compliance with the publication requirements of section 1 (7.3) of article V of the state constitution by causing the printing of additional inserts or legal notices in such manner and form as deemed necessary and by providing for their separate circulation in the county as widely as may be practicable. Such circulation may include making the publications available at government offices and other public facilities or private businesses. If sufficient funds are available for such purposes, the director may also contract for alternative methods of circulation or may cause circulation by mailing the publication to county residents. Any printing and circulation made in accordance with this paragraph (e) shall be deemed to be a legal publication of general circulation for purposes of section 1 (7.3) of article V of the state constitution.

(2) (Deleted by amendment, L. 95, p. 437, § 18, effective May 8, 1995.)

Top

1-40-124.5. Ballot information booklet

(1) (a) The director of research of the legislative council of the general assembly shall prepare a ballot information booklet for any initiated or referred constitutional amendment or legislation, including a question, as defined in section 1-41-102 (3), in accordance with section 1 (7.5) of article V of the state constitution.

(b) The director of research of the legislative council of the general assembly shall prepare a fiscal impact statement for every initiated or referred measure, taking into consideration fiscal impact information submitted by the office of state planning and budgeting, the department of local affairs or any other state agency, and any proponent or other interested person. The fiscal impact statement prepared for every measure shall be substantially similar in form and content to the fiscal notes provided by the legislative council of the general assembly for legislative measures pursuant to section 2-2-322, C.R.S. A complete copy of the fiscal impact statement for such measure shall be available through the legislative council of the general assembly. The ballot information booklet shall indicate whether there is a fiscal impact for each initiated or referred measure and shall abstract the fiscal impact statement for such measure. The abstract for every measure shall appear after the arguments for and against such measure in the analysis section of the ballot information booklet, and shall include, but shall not be limited to:

(I) An estimate of the effect the measure will have on state and local government revenues, expenditures, taxes, and fiscal liabilities if such measure is enacted;

(II) An estimate of the amount of any state and local government recurring expenditures or fiscal liabilities if such measure is enacted; and

(III) For any initiated or referred measure that modifies the state tax laws, an estimate of the impact to the average taxpayer, if feasible, if such measure is enacted.

(c) Repealed.

(1.5) The executive committee of the legislative council of the general assembly shall be responsible for providing the fiscal information on any ballot issue that must be included in the ballot information booklet pursuant to section 1 (7.5) (c) of article V of the state constitution.

(1.7) (a) After receiving written comments from the public in accordance with section 1 (7.5) (a) (II) of article V of the state constitution, but before the draft of the ballot information booklet is finalized, the director of research of the legislative council of the general assembly shall conduct a public meeting at which the director and other members of the legislative staff have the opportunity to ask questions that arise in response to the written comments. The director may modify the draft of the booklet in response to comments made at the hearing. The legislative council may modify the draft of the booklet upon the two-thirds affirmative vote of the members of the legislative council.

(b) (I) Each person submitting written comments in accordance with section 1 (7.5) (a) (II) of article V of the state constitution shall provide his or her name and the name of any organization the person represents or is affiliated with for purposes of making the comments.

(II) The arguments for and against each measure in the analysis section of the ballot information booklet shall be preceded by the phrase: "For information on those issue committees that support or oppose the measures on the ballot at the (date and year) election, go to the Colorado secretary of state's elections center web site hyperlink for ballot and initiative information (appropriate secretary of state web site address).".

(2) Following completion of the ballot information booklet, the director of research shall arrange for its distribution to every residence of one or more active registered electors in the state. Distribution may be accomplished by such means as the director of research deems appropriate to comply with section 1 (7.5) of article V of the state constitution, including, but not limited to, mailing the ballot information booklet to electors and insertion of the ballot information booklet in newspapers of general circulation in the state. The distribution shall be performed pursuant to a contract or contracts bid and entered into after employing standard competitive bidding practices including, but not limited to, the use of requests for information, requests for proposals, or any other standard vendor selection practices determined to be best suited to selecting an appropriate means of distribution and an appropriate contractor or contractors. The executive director of the department of personnel shall provide such technical advice and assistance regarding bidding procedures as deemed necessary by the director of research.

(3) (a) There is hereby established in the state treasury the ballot information publication and distribution revolving fund. Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection (3), moneys shall be appropriated to the fund each year by the general assembly in the annual general appropriation act. All interest earned on the investment of moneys in the fund shall be credited to the fund. Moneys in the revolving fund are continuously appropriated to the legislative council of the general assembly to pay the costs of publishing the text and title of each constitutional amendment, each initiated or referred measure, or part of a measure, and the text of a referred or initiated question arising under section 20 of article X of the state constitution, as defined in section 1-41-102 (3), in at least one legal publication of general circulation in each county of the state, as required by section 1-40-124, and the costs of distributing the ballot information booklet, as required by subsection (2) of this section. Any moneys credited to the revolving fund and unexpended at the end of any given fiscal year shall remain in the fund and shall not revert to the general fund.

(b) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, any moneys appropriated from the general fund to the legislative department of the state government for the fiscal year commencing on July 1, 2007, that are unexpended or not encumbered as of the close of the fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund and shall be transferred by the state treasurer and the controller to the ballot information publication and distribution revolving fund created in paragraph (a) of this subsection (3); except that the amount so transferred shall not exceed five hundred thousand dollars.

(c) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, any moneys appropriated from the general fund to the legislative department of the state government for the fiscal year commencing on July 1, 2008, that are unexpended or not encumbered as of the close of the fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund and shall be transferred by the state treasurer and the controller to the ballot information publication and distribution revolving fund created in paragraph (a) of this subsection (3).

(d) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, any moneys appropriated from the general fund to the legislative department of the state government for the fiscal year commencing on July 1, 2009, that are unexpended or not encumbered as of the close of the fiscal year and that are in excess of the amount of one million forty-two thousand dollars shall not revert to the general fund and shall be transferred by the state treasurer and the controller to the ballot information publication and distribution revolving fund created in paragraph (a) of this subsection (3); except that the amount so transferred shall not exceed one million one hundred twenty-nine thousand six hundred seven dollars.

(e) Notwithstanding any provision of this subsection (3) to the contrary, on August 11, 2010, the state treasurer shall deduct one million one hundred twenty-nine thousand six hundred seven dollars from the ballot information publication and distribution revolving fund and transfer such sum to the redistricting account within the legislative department cash fund.

Top

1-40-125. Mailing to electors

(1) The requirements of this section shall apply to any ballot issue involving a local government matter arising under section 20 of article X of the state constitution, as defined in section 1-41-103 (4), for which notice is required to be mailed pursuant to section 20 (3) (b) of article X of the state constitution. A mailing is not required for a ballot issue that does not involve a local government matter arising under section 20 of article X of the state constitution, as defined in section 1-41-103 (4).

(2) Thirty days before a ballot issue election, political subdivisions shall mail at the least cost and as a package where districts with ballot issues overlap, a titled notice or set of notices addressed to "all registered voters" at each address of one or more active registered electors. Except for voter-approved additions, notices shall include only:

(a) The election date, hours, ballot title, text, and local election office address and telephone number;

(b) For proposed district tax or bonded debt increases, the estimated or actual total of district fiscal year spending for the current year and each of the past four years, and the overall percentage and dollar change;

(c) For the first full fiscal year of each proposed political subdivision tax increase, district estimates of the maximum dollar amount of each increase and of district fiscal year spending without the increase;

(d) For proposed district bonded debt, its principal amount and maximum annual and total district repayment cost, and the principal balance of total current district bonded debt and its maximum annual and remaining local district repayment cost;

(e) Two summaries, up to five hundred words each, one for and one against the proposal, of written comments filed with the election officer by thirty days before the election. No summary shall mention names of persons or private groups, nor any endorsements of or resolutions against the proposal. Petition representatives following these rules shall write this summary for their petition. The election officer shall maintain and accurately summarize all other relevant written comments.

(3) The provisions of this section shall not apply to a ballot issue that is subject to the provisions of section 1-40-124.5.

 

1-40-126. Explanation of effect of "yes" or "no" vote included in notices provided by mailing or publication

In any notice to electors provided by the director of research of the legislative council, whether by mailing pursuant to section 1-40-124.5 or publication pursuant to section 1-40-124, there shall be included the following explanation preceding any information about individual ballot issues: "A 'yes/for' vote on any ballot issue is a vote in favor of changing current law or existing circumstances, and a 'no/against' vote on any ballot issue is a vote against changing current law or existing circumstances."

 

1-40-126.5. Explanation of ballot titles and actual text of measures in notices provided by mailing or publication

(1) In any notice to electors provided by the director of research of the legislative council, whether in the ballot information booklet prepared pursuant to section 1-40-124.5 or by publication pursuant to section 1-40-124, there shall be included the following explanation preceding the title of each measure:

(a) For referred measures: "The ballot title below is a summary drafted by the professional legal staff for the general assembly for ballot purposes only. The ballot title will not appear in the (Colorado constitution/Colorado Revised Statutes). The text of the measure that will appear in the (Colorado constitution/Colorado Revised Statutes) below was referred to the voters because it passed by a (two-thirds majority/majority) vote of the state senate and the state house of representatives."

(b) For initiated measures: "The ballot title below is a summary drafted by the professional staff of the offices of the secretary of state, the attorney general, and the legal staff for the general assembly for ballot purposes only. The ballot title will not appear in the (Colorado constitution/Colorado Revised Statutes). The text of the measure that will appear in the (Colorado constitution/Colorado Revised Statutes) below was drafted by the proponents of the initiative. The initiated measure is included on the ballot as a proposed change to current law because the proponents gathered the required amount of petition signatures."

Top

1-40-127. Ordinances - effective, when - referendum (Repealed)

 

1-40-128. Ordinances, how proposed - conflicting measures (Repealed)

 

1-40-129. Voting on ordinances (Repealed)

 

1-40-130. Unlawful acts - penalty

(1) It is unlawful:

(a) For any person willfully and knowingly to circulate or cause to be circulated or sign or procure to be signed any petition bearing the name, device, or motto of any person, organization, association, league, or political party, or purporting in any way to be endorsed, approved, or submitted by any person, organization, association, league, or political party, without the written consent, approval, and authorization of the person, organization, association, league, or political party;

(b) For any person to sign any name other than his or her own to any petition or knowingly to sign his or her name more than once for the same measure at one election;

(c) For any person to knowingly sign any petition who is not a registered elector at the time of signing the same;

(d) For any person to sign any affidavit as circulator without knowing or reasonably believing the statements made in the affidavit to be true;

(e) For any person to certify that an affidavit attached to a petition was subscribed or sworn to before him or her unless it was so subscribed and sworn to before him or her and unless the person so certifying is duly qualified under the laws of this state to administer an oath;

(f) For any officer or person to do willfully, or with another or others conspire, or agree, or confederate to do, any act which hinders, delays, or in any way interferes with the calling, holding, or conducting of any election permitted under the initiative and referendum powers reserved by the people in section 1 of article V of the state constitution or with the registering of electors therefor;

(g) For any officer to do willfully any act which shall confuse or tend to confuse the issues submitted or proposed to be submitted at any election, or refuse to submit any petition in the form presented for submission at any election;

(h) For any officer or person to violate willfully any provision of this article;

(i) For any person to pay money or other things of value to a registered elector for the purpose of inducing the elector to withdraw his or her name from a petition for a ballot issue;

(j) For any person to certify an affidavit attached to a petition in violation of section 1-40-111 (2) (b) (I);

(k) For any person to sign any affidavit as a circulator, unless each signature in the petition section to which the affidavit is attached was affixed in the presence of the circulator;

(l) For any person to circulate in whole or in part a petition section, unless such person is the circulator who signs the affidavit attached to the petition section.

(2) Any person, upon conviction of a violation of any provision of this section, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand five hundred dollars, or by imprisonment for not more than one year in the county jail, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Top

1-40-131. Tampering with initiative or referendum petition

Any person who willfully destroys, defaces, mutilates, or suppresses any initiative or referendum petition or who willfully neglects to file or delays the delivery of the initiative or referendum petition or who conceals or removes any initiative or referendum petition from the possession of the person authorized by law to have the custody thereof, or who adds, amends, alters, or in any way changes the information on the petition as provided by the elector, or who aids, counsels, procures, or assists any person in doing any of said acts commits a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as provided in section 1-13-111. The language in this section shall not preclude a circulator from striking a complete line on the petition if the circulator believes the line to be invalid.

 

 

1-40-132. Enforcement

(1) The secretary of state is charged with the administration and enforcement of the provisions of this article relating to initiated or referred measures and state constitutional amendments. The secretary of state shall have the authority to promulgate rules as may be necessary to administer and enforce any provision of this article that relates to initiated or referred measures and state constitutional amendments. The secretary of state may conduct a hearing, upon a written complaint by a registered elector, on any alleged violation of the provisions relating to the circulation of a petition, which may include but shall not be limited to the preparation or signing of an affidavit by a circulator. If the secretary of state, after the hearing, has reasonable cause to believe that there has been a violation of the provisions of this article relating to initiated or referred measures and state constitutional amendments, he or she shall notify the attorney general, who may institute a criminal prosecution. If a circulator is found to have violated any provision of this article or is otherwise shown to have made false or misleading statements relating to his or her section of the petition, such section of the petition shall be deemed void.

(2) (Deleted by amendment, L. 95, p. 439, § 22, effective May 8, 1995.)

Top

1-40-133. Retention of petitions

After a period of three years from the time of submission of the petitions to the secretary of state, if it is determined that the retention of the petitions is no longer necessary, the secretary of state may destroy the petitions.

 

1-40-134. Withdrawal of initiative petition

The designated representatives of the proponents of an initiative petition may withdraw the petition from consideration as a ballot issue by filing a letter with the secretary of state requesting that the petition not be placed on the ballot. The letter shall be signed and acknowledged by both designated representatives before an officer authorized to take acknowledgments and shall be filed no later than sixty days prior to the election at which the initiative is to be voted upon.

 

1-40-135. Petition entities - requirements - definition

(1) As used in this section, "petition entity" means any person or issue committee that provides compensation to a circulator to circulate a ballot petition.

(2) (a) It is unlawful for any petition entity to provide compensation to a circulator to circulate a petition without first obtaining a license therefor from the secretary of state. The secretary of state may deny a license if he or she finds that the petition entity or any of its principals have been found, in a judicial or administrative proceeding, to have violated the petition laws of Colorado or any other state and such violation involves authorizing or knowingly permitting any of the acts set forth in paragraph (c) of this subsection (2), excluding subparagraph (V) of said paragraph (c). The secretary of state shall deny a license:

(I) Unless the petition entity agrees that it shall not pay a circulator more than twenty percent of his or her compensation on a per signature or per petition basis; or

(II) If no current representative of the petition entity has completed the training related to potential fraudulent activities in petition circulation, as established by the secretary of state, pursuant to section 1-40-112 (3).

(b) The secretary of state may at any time request the petition entity to provide documentation that demonstrates compliance with section 1-40-112 (4).

(c) The secretary of state shall revoke the petition entity license if, at any time after receiving a license, a petition entity is determined to no longer be in compliance with the requirements set forth in paragraph (a) of this subsection (2) or if the petition entity authorized or knowingly permitted:

(I) Forgery of a registered elector's signature;

(II) Circulation of a petition section, in whole or part, by anyone other than the circulator who signs the affidavit attached to the petition section;

(III) Use of a false circulator name or address in the affidavit;

(IV) Payment of money or other things of value to any person for the purpose of inducing the person to sign or withdraw his or her name from the petition;

(V) Payment to a circulator of more than twenty percent of his or her compensation on a per signature or per petition section basis; or

(VI) A notary public's notarization of a petition section outside of the presence of the circulator or without the production of the required identification for notarization of a petition section.

(3) (a) Any procedures by which alleged violations involving petition entities are heard and adjudicated shall be governed by the "State Administrative Procedure Act", article 4 of title 24, C.R.S. If a complaint is filed with the secretary of state pursuant to section 1-40-132 (1) alleging that a petition entity was not licensed when it compensated any circulator, the secretary may use information that the entity is required to produce pursuant to section 1-40-121 and any other information to which the secretary may reasonably gain access, including documentation produced pursuant to paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of this section, at a hearing. After a hearing is held, if a violation is determined to have occurred, such petition entity shall be fined by the secretary in an amount not to exceed one hundred dollars per circulator for each day that the named individual or individuals circulated petition sections on behalf of the unlicensed petition entity. If the secretary finds that a petition entity violated a provision of paragraph (c) of subsection (2) of this section, the secretary shall revoke the entity's license for not less than ninety days or more than one hundred eighty days. Upon finding any subsequent violation of a provision of paragraph (c) of subsection (2) of this section, the secretary shall revoke the petition entity's license for not less than one hundred eighty days or more than one year. The secretary shall consider all circumstances surrounding the violations in fixing the length of the revocations.

(b) A petition entity whose license has been revoked may apply for reinstatement to be effective upon expiration of the term of revocation.

(c) In determining whether to reinstate a license, the secretary may consider:

(I) The entity's ownership by, employment of, or contract with any person who served as a director, officer, owner, or principal of a petition entity whose license was revoked, the role of such individual in the facts underlying the prior license revocation, and the role of such individual in a petition entity's post-revocation activities; and

(II) Any other facts the entity chooses to present to the secretary, including but not limited to remedial steps, if any, that have been implemented to avoid future acts that would violate this article.

(4) The secretary of state shall issue a decision on any application for a new or reinstated license within ten business days after a petition entity files an application, which application shall be on a form prescribed by the secretary. No license shall be issued without payment of a nonrefundable license fee to the secretary of state, which license fee shall be determined and collected pursuant to section 24-21-104 (3), C.R.S., to cover the cost of administering this section.

(5) (a) A licensed petition entity shall register with the secretary of state by providing to the secretary of state:

(I) The ballot title of any proposed measure for which a petition will be circulated by circulators coordinated or paid by the petition entity;

(II) The current name, address, telephone number, and electronic mail address of the petition entity; and

(III) The name and signature of the designated agent of the petition entity for the proposed measure.

(b) A petition entity shall notify the secretary of state within twenty days of any change in the information submitted pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection (5).

Top

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