Colo. Rev. Stat. § 1-7.5-107

Current through Chapter 5 of the 2024 Legislative Session
Section 1-7.5-107 - Procedures for conducting mail ballot election - primary elections - first-time voters casting a mail ballot after having registered by mail to vote - in-person request for ballot - repeal
(1) Official ballots shall be prepared and all other preelection procedures followed as otherwise provided by law or rules promulgated by the secretary of state; except that mail ballot packets shall be prepared in accordance with this article.
(2) Repealed.
(2.3) (Deleted, 2016.)
(2.5) Repealed.
(2.7) Subsequent to the preparation of ballots in accordance with section 1-5-402 but prior to the mailing required under subsection (3) of this section, and no sooner than forty-five days nor later than thirty-two days before an election, a designated election official shall provide a mail ballot to a registered elector requesting the ballot at the designated election official's office or the office designated in the election plan filed with the secretary of state.
(3)
(a)
(I) Not sooner than twenty-two days before a general, primary, or other mail ballot election, and no later than eighteen days before the election, the county clerk and recorder or designated election official shall mail to each active registered elector, at the last mailing address appearing in the registration records and in accordance with United States postal service regulations, a mail ballot packet, which must be marked "DO NOT FORWARD. ADDRESS CORRECTION REQUESTED.", or any other similar statement that is in accordance with United States postal service regulations. For a primary mail ballot election, active registered electors includes preregistrants eligible to vote in that primary under section 1-2-101(2)(c). Nothing in this subsection (3) affects any provision of this code governing the delivery of mail ballots to an absent uniformed services elector, nonresident overseas elector, or resident overseas elector covered by the federal "Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act", 52 U.S.C. sec. 20301 et seq.
(II) If the twenty-second day before a general, primary, or other mail ballot election is a Saturday, Sunday, state legal holiday, or federal holiday recognized by the United States postal service, the county clerk and recorder or designated election official may mail ballot packets pursuant to subsection (3)(a)(I) of this section on the Friday immediately preceding the twenty-second day.
(b) The ballot or ballot label shall contain the following warning:

WARNING:

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

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

I affirm under penalty of perjury that I am a United States citizen and an eligible elector; I have been a Colorado resident for at least twenty-two days immediately before this election; I am registered to vote at my sole legal place of residence; I will be at least eighteen years of age on election day; I voted the ballot that was issued to me; and this is the only ballot I have voted in this election.

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

Date Signature of voter

(B) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2021.)
(II) The signing of the self-affirmation on the return envelope shall constitute an affirmation by the eligible elector, under penalty of perjury, that the facts stated in the self-affirmation are true. If the eligible elector is unable to sign, the eligible elector may affirm by making a mark on the self-affirmation, with or without assistance, witnessed by another person.
(III) The return envelope shall not be required to have a flap covering the signature or otherwise impede the use of a signature verification device.
(c) Repealed.
(d) An eligible elector may obtain a replacement ballot in accordance with the procedures specified in sections 1-7.5-114.5 and 1-7.5-115.
(3.5)
(a) Unless otherwise provided by section 1-2-201(5), the requirements of this subsection (3.5) apply to a person who registered to vote in accordance with article 2 of this title and who has not previously voted in an election in Colorado.
(b) Any person who matches the description specified in subsection (3.5)(a) of this section and intends to cast his or her ballot by mail in accordance with this article 7.5 shall submit with his or her mail ballot a copy of identification within the meaning of section 1-1-104 (19.5).
(c) The county clerk and recorder or designated election official shall include with the mail ballot packet required by paragraph (a) of subsection (3) of this section written instructions advising an elector who matches the description specified in paragraph (a) of this subsection (3.5) of the manner in which the elector shall be in compliance with the requirements contained in paragraph (a) of this subsection (3.5).
(d)
(I) Any person who desires to cast his or her ballot by mail but does not satisfy the requirements of subsection (3.5)(b) of this section may cast such ballot by mail. The county clerk and recorder or designated election official shall, within three days after the receipt of a mail ballot that does not contain a copy of identification as defined in section 1-1-104 (19.5), but in no event later than two days after election day, send to the eligible elector at the address indicated in the registration records and to the eligible elector's electronic mail address if available a letter explaining the lack of compliance with subsection (3.5)(b) of this section. If the county clerk and recorder or designated election official receives a copy of identification in compliance with subsection (3.5)(b) of this section within eight days after election day, and if the mail ballot is otherwise valid, the mail ballot shall be counted.
(II) The county clerk and recorder or designated election official, within twenty-four hours of receiving an eligible elector's identification in compliance with subsection (3.5)(b) of this section, shall update the statewide voter registration system to indicate that the eligible elector has cured the deficiency on their ballot. The clerk and recorder or designated election official is not required to update the statewide voter registration system pursuant to this subsection (3.5)(d)(II) on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday unless, on the Thursday immediately following election day, the clerk and recorder or designated election official's review of the remaining number of letters issued but not returned pursuant to subsection (3.5)(d)(I) of this section and sections 1-7.5-107.3 (1.5)(a) and 1-7.5-107.3 (2)(a) indicates that the margin for any ballot contest or ballot question is greater than the remaining number of letters issued or indicates that the remaining number of letters issued to voters eligible to vote on a particular ballot contest or ballot question could not potentially move the margin of that ballot contest or ballot question into a mandatory recount pursuant to section 1-10.5-101 (1)(b), if returned.
(III) For state-certified ballot contests and ballot measures, the secretary of state's office shall complete the review pursuant to subsection (4.3)(a)(II) of this section.
(e) The requirements of this subsection (3.5) shall be implemented by state and local election officials in a uniform and nondiscriminatory manner.
(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the requirements of this subsection (3.5) do not apply to any person who is:
(I) Entitled to vote by absentee ballot under the federal "Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act", 52 U.S.C. sec. 20301 et seq.;
(II) Provided the right to vote otherwise than in person under section (b)(2)(B)(ii) of the federal "Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act", 52 U.S.C. sec. 20102 et seq.; or
(III) Entitled to vote otherwise than in person under any other federal law.
(4)
(a) Upon receipt of a ballot, the eligible elector shall mark the ballot, sign and complete the self-affirmation on the return envelope, enclose identification if required by subsection (3.5) of this section, and comply with the instructions provided with the ballot.
(b)
(I) The eligible elector may:
(A) Return the marked ballot to the county clerk and recorder or designated election official by United States mail or by depositing the ballot at the office of the county clerk and recorder or designated election official or at any voter service and polling center, drop box, or drop-off location designated by the county clerk and recorder or designated election official as specified in the election plan filed with the secretary of state. The ballot must be returned in the return envelope.
(B) Deliver the ballot to any person of the elector's own choice or to any duly authorized agent of the county clerk and recorder or designated election official for mailing or personal delivery; except that no person other than a duly authorized agent of the county clerk and recorder or designated election official may receive more than ten mail ballots in any election for mailing or delivery; or
(C) Cast his or her vote in person at the voter service and polling center.
(II) If an eligible elector returns the ballot by mail, the elector must provide postage. The ballot must be received at the office of the county clerk and recorder or designated election official, a drop box, or a designated drop-off location, which must remain open until 7 p.m. on election day. All envelopes containing mail ballots must be in the hands of the county clerk and recorder or designated election official no later than 7 p.m. on the day of the election. Mail ballot envelopes received after 7 p.m. on the day of the election but postmarked on or before the day of the election will remain sealed and uncounted, but the elector's registration record shall not be canceled for failure to vote in a general election.
(III) A person who delivers a ballot on behalf of an elector pursuant to sub-subparagraph (B) of subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (b) is not deemed to be voting more than once pursuant to section 1-13-710.
(IV) Nothing in subparagraph (II) of this paragraph (b) affects or supersedes provisions regarding the timely casting and counting of ballots under section 1-8.3-111 or 1-8.3-113.
(c) and (d) Repealed.
(4.3)
(a)
(I) For any election, other than a general election, for which a county clerk and recorder is the designated election official, there must be a minimum number of drop boxes where mail ballots may be deposited equal to at least one drop box for each thirty thousand active registered electors in the county; except that, if the district or political subdivision for which the election is being conducted is less populous than the county, the county clerk and recorder shall designate at least one drop box for each thirty thousand current active registered electors eligible to vote in that election. The drop boxes must be arrayed throughout the county in a manner that provides the greatest convenience to electors. Each drop box must comply with the secretary of state's current security rules.
(II) On and after January 1, 2020, for a presidential primary or November coordinated election, in addition to the requirements of subsection (4.3)(a)(I) of this section, the county clerk and recorder shall establish a drop box on each campus of a state institution of higher education located within the county that has two thousand or more enrolled students as determined in accordance with section 1-5-102.9(1) (b.5)(III).
(III) A county may establish additional drop-off locations at the county's discretion. Each drop-off location must be supervised in accordance with section 1-5-102.9(5)(f).
(b) The minimum number of drop boxes described in subsection (4.3)(a) of this section must accept mail ballots delivered by electors during, at a minimum, the seven days prior to and including the day of the election.
(c)
(I) The county clerk and recorder or designated election official shall arrange for the collection of ballots by bipartisan teams of election judges or staff from each drop box location after the drop box location is open and must receive the ballots into the statewide voter registration system:
(A) At least once every seventy-two hours after ballots are mailed, excluding ballots that are mailed pursuant to the federal"Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act of 1986", 52 U.S.C. sec. 20301 et seq., until the date that voter service and polling centers are required to open;
(B) At least once every twenty-four hours during the days that voter services and polling centers are required to be open;
(C) For counties with at least two hundred fifty thousand active electors as of the date of the previous general election, at least once on the Sunday before election day; and
(D) For counties with at least two hundred fifty thousand active electors as of the date of the previous general election, at least twice on the Monday before election day and at least twice on election day before 7 p.m.
(II) A county clerk and recorder or designated election official may satisfy the requirements of subsection (4.3)(c)(I) of this section by:
(A) Collecting and transporting the ballots to the central counting location for receipt into the statewide voter registration system; or
(B) Collecting and transporting the ballots to the nearest voter service and polling center for receipt into the statewide voter registration system.
(4.5)
(a)
(I) For any primary or November coordinated election, the county clerk and recorder shall designate voter service and polling centers equal to no fewer than the number of county motor vehicle offices in the county; except that each county shall have no fewer than one voter service and polling center, and, for counties with fewer than twenty-five thousand active registered electors, only one voter service and polling center is required. The county clerk and recorder may add additional voter service and polling center locations as necessary.
(II) Repealed.
(III)
(A)[Effective until 1/1/2024] On and after January 1, 2020, for a presidential primary or November coordinated election, from the eighth day before the election until the second day before the election, the county clerk and recorder shall designate at least one voter service and polling center on each campus of a state institution of higher education that has ten thousand or more enrolled students, and on the day before the election and on election day, the county clerk and recorder shall designate at least one voter service and polling center on each campus of a state institution of higher education located within the county that has three thousand or more enrolled students as determined in accordance with section 1-5-102.9(1) (b.5)(III).
(A)[Effective 1/1/2024] For a presidential primary or November coordinated election, from the eighth day before the election until the second day before the election, the county clerk and recorder shall designate at least one voter service and polling center on each campus of an institution of higher education, as defined in section 23-3.1-102 (5), that has ten thousand or more enrolled students, and on the day before the election and on election day, the county clerk and recorder shall designate at least one voter service and polling center on each campus of an institution of higher education located within the county that has two thousand or more enrolled students as determined in accordance with section 1-5-102.9(1) (b.5)(III).
(B) In a county described in section 1-5-102.9(1)(a)(I) or (1)(a)(II), a voter service and polling center designated in accordance with this subsection (4.5)(a)(III) may count toward the minimum requirements of subsection (4.5)(a)(I) of this section. In all other counties, a voter service and polling center designated in accordance with this subsection (4.5)(a)(III) must be in addition to the minimum requirements of subsection (4.5)(a)(I) of this section.
(b) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2013.)
(b.5) For any election, other than a general, primary, or November coordinated election, for which the county clerk and recorder is the designated election official, the county clerk and recorder shall designate at least one voter service and polling center for each thirty thousand current active registered electors who are eligible to vote in that election.
(c) The minimum number of voter service and polling centers shall be open during, at a minimum, the eight days prior to and including the day of the election; except that voter service and polling centers are not required to be open on Sundays.
(d) In designating voter service and polling centers under this subsection (4.5), a county clerk and recorder shall take into account the factors described under section 1-5-102.9(1)(c)(I).
(4.7) For the purposes of subsections (4.3) and (4.5) of this section, the number of active registered electors in a county is the number of active electors registered in the county on the date of the previous presidential election or on the date of the last general election, whichever is greater.
(5)
(a) Once the ballot is returned, an election judge shall first qualify the submitted ballot by comparing the information on the return envelope with the registration records to determine whether the ballot was submitted by an eligible elector who has not previously voted in the election. If the ballot so qualifies and is otherwise valid, the election judge shall indicate in the pollbook that the eligible elector cast a ballot and deposit the ballot in an official ballot box.
(b) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2010, (HB 10-1116), ch. 194, p. 834, § 20, effective May 5, 2010.)
(c) For any election conducted with or coordinated by a county clerk and recorder, the signature of the eligible elector on the return envelope shall be compared with the signature of the eligible elector on file in the office of the county clerk and recorder or in the statewide voter registration system in accordance with section 1-7.5-107.3.
(6) All deposited ballots shall be counted as provided in this article and by rules promulgated by the secretary of state. A mail ballot is valid and shall be counted only if it is returned in the return envelope, the self-affirmation on the return envelope is signed and completed by the eligible elector to whom the ballot was issued, and the information on the return envelope is verified in accordance with subsection (5) of this section. Mail ballots shall be counted in the same manner provided by section 1-7-307 for counting paper ballots or section 1-7-507 for counting electronic ballots. If the election official determines that an eligible elector to whom a replacement ballot has been issued has returned more than one ballot, the first ballot received is the accepted ballot. All candidates and issues for which the voter is eligible to vote will be counted on the accepted ballot. Rejected ballots shall be handled in the same manner as provided in sections 1-7.5-204 and 1-7.5-210.
(7) If, by the close of polls, an elector deposits a ballot at a drop-off location in a county in which the elector does not reside, the county clerk and recorder, upon discovering that fact, shall timely deliver the ballot to the county clerk and recorder of the county in which the elector resides, who shall accept the ballot for processing.

C.R.S. § 1-7.5-107

Amended by 2023 Ch. 399,§ 33, eff. 6/6/2023 except that (4.5)(a)(III)(A) takes effect 1/1/2024.
Amended by 2021 Ch. 282, § 38, eff. 6/21/2021.
Amended by 2020 Ch. 260, § 2, eff. 9/14/2020.
Amended by 2019 Ch. 329, § 11, eff. 8/2/2019.
Amended by 2019 Ch. 326, § 41, eff. 8/2/2019.
Amended by 2018 Ch. 262, § 28, eff. 5/29/2018.
Amended by 2017 Ch. 216, § 5, eff. 8/9/2017.
Amended by 2016 Proposition 108, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, 12/27/2016.
Amended by 2016 Ch. 173, § 53, eff. 5/18/2016.
L. 92: Entire article R&RE, p. 754, § 10, effective January 1, 1993. L. 93: (3)(c) and (5) amended, p. 1767, § 10, effective June 6; (2)(b) amended, p. 1423, § 84, effective July 1. L. 94: (2)(a), (3)(c), (3)(d), and (4)(b) amended, p. 1167, § 41, effective July 1. L. 95: (2), (3)(a), (3)(d), and (5) amended, p. 841, § 62, effective July 1. L. 96: (2)(b) and (6) amended, pp. 1749, 1774, §§ 45, 79, effective July 1. L. 97: (3)(a) and (3)(c) amended, p. 186, § 6, effective August 6. L. 99: (2.5) added, p. 776, § 58, effective May 20. L. 2001: (3)(b.5) added and (6) amended, pp. 1003, 1004, §§ 11, 12, effective August 8. L. 2002: (4)(b) amended, p. 1634, § 17, effective June 7. L. 2003: (3)(b.5), (4), (5), and (6) amended, p. 1278, § 6, effective April 22; (3.5) added, p. 2078, § 15, effective May 22. L. 2004: (4)(a) and (5)(b) amended and (4)(c) and (4)(d) repealed, pp. 1053, 1054, §§ 6, 9, effective May 21. L. 2005: (3.5)(d) and (5)(b) amended, p. 1410, § 28, effective June 6; (3.5)(d) and (5)(b) amended, p. 1445, § 28, effective June 6. L. 2006: IP(3.5)(a) amended, p. 2033, § 13, effective June 6. L. 2007: (6) amended, p. 1981, § 31, effective August 3. L. 2008: (3)(b.5)(III) added and (5)(c) amended, p. 358, §§ 3, 4, effective April 10. L. 2009: (2.3), (4.3), and (4.5) added and (2.5)(a), (3)(a), and (3)(c) amended, (HB 09-1015), ch. 1185, p. 1185, § 6, effective August 5; (3)(b.5)(I) amended, (HB 09-1216), ch. 729, p. 729, § 3, effective August 5; (3.5)(d) amended, (HB 09-1337), ch. 1201, p. 1201, § 1, effective August 5. L. 2010: (3)(a)(I), (4.3)(b), (4.5)(c), and (5)(b) amended, (HB 10-1116), ch. 834, p. 834, § 20, effective May 5. L. 2012: (2.7) added and (5)(c) amended, (HB 12-1292), ch. 686, p. 686, § 33, effective May 17. L. 2013: (2)(a), (2.3)(a), (2.5)(a), (3)(a), (3)(c), (3)(d), (3.5)(c), (3.5)(d), (4)(b), (4.3), (4.5), and (6) amended, (HB 13-1303), ch. 727, p. 727, § 86, effective May 10. L. 2014: (4.3)(a) and (4.5)(a) amended and (4)(b)(IV), (4.5)(b.5), and (7) added, (SB 14-161), ch. 563, p. 563, § 17, effective May 9; (3)(a)(II) amended, (HB 14-1363), ch. 1261, p. 1261, § 1, effective May 31. L. 2016: (2), (2.5), and (3)(c) repealed and (3)(a), (3)(d), (3.5)(a), IP(3.5)(f), (3.5)(f)(I), and (3.5)(f)(II) amended, (SB 16-142), ch. 582, p. 582, § 53, effective May 18. Initiated 2016: (2.3) deleted and (2.5)(a)(II) amended, Proposition 108, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, December 27, 2016. See L. 2017, p. 2826. L. 2017: (2.5)(a)(II) repealed and (3)(a)(II) amended, (SB 17-305), ch. 844, p. 844, § 5, effective August 9. L. 2018: (2.7) amended, (SB 18-233), ch. 1613, p. 1613, § 28, effective May 29. L. 2019: (2.7), (3)(a)(I), (3)(a)(II), (3.5)(b), (3.5)(d), (4)(b)(I)(A), (4)(b)(II), (4.3), and (4.5)(a)(I) amended, (4.5)(a)(II)(B) repealed, and (4.5)(a)(III) and (4.7) added, (HB 19-1278), ch. 3030, p. 3030, § 41, effective August 2; (3)(b.5)(I) amended, (SB 19-235), ch. 329, p. 3057, § 11, effective August 2. L. 2020: (3)(d) amended, (HB 20-1313), ch. 1254, p. 1254, § 2, effective September 14.

(1) This section is similar to former § 1-7.5-107 as it existed prior to 1992.

(2) Subsection (2.5) was repealed by SB 16-142, effective May 18, 2016; however, in order to give effect to Proposition 108, the repeal of subsection (2.5)(a)(II) by SB 16-142 was superseded by Proposition 108 approved by the voters November 8, 2016, and effective upon proclamation of the governor on December 27, 2016. Subsection (2.5)(a)(II) was subsequently repealed by SB 17-305, effective August 9, 2017. For amendments to subsection (2.5)(a)(II) in Proposition 108 in effect from December 27, 2016, to August 9, 2017, see section 10 on p. 2826, Session Laws of Colorado 2017.

(3) This section was amended by initiative in 2016. The vote count on Proposition 108 at the general election held November 8, 2016, was as follows:

FOR: 1,398,577

AGAINST: 1,227,117

(4) Subsection (4.5)(a)(II)(C) provided for the repeal of subsections (4.5)(a)(II)(A) and (4.5)(a)(II)(C), effective January 1, 2017. (See L. 2014, p. 563.)

(5) Section 85 of chapter 282 (SB 21-250), Session Laws of Colorado 2021, provides that the act changing this section applies to elections conducted on or after June 21, 2021.

(1) In 2013, subsections (2)(a), (2.3)(a), (2.5)(a), (3)(a), (3)(c), (3)(d), (3.5)(c), (3.5)(d), (4)(b), (4.3), (4.5), and (6) were amended by the "Voter Access and Modernized Elections Act". For the short title and the legislative declaration, see sections 1 and 2 of chapter 185, Session Laws of Colorado 2013. (2) For the declaration of the people of Colorado in Proposition 108, see section 1 on p. 2822, Session Laws of Colorado 2017. (3) For the short title ("Colorado Votes Act") in HB 19-1278, see section 1 of chapter 326, Session Laws of Colorado 2019.