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1-1.5-103. Conflict with federal law

Overview of Statute

HAVA provisions and the rules promulgated in accordance with the legislation control in the event of conflict with state law. Accordingly, the secretary will ensure compliance with the relevant provisions. Should such a conflict arise, and the secretary or a court applies the HAVA provisions, the secretary will submit a report to the general assembly explaining the conflict with suggested language to fix the problem.


If the secretary or a court of competent jurisdiction determines there is a conflict between this article or any other provision of this code and any provision of HAVA, the provisions of HAVA and any rules promulgated thereunder shall control, and the secretary shall perform the duties and discharge the obligations contained in the federal act. If such a determination is made, the secretary shall submit a report to the general assembly explaining the conflict and suggesting language to change this article in the next legislative session.


Source: L. 2003: Entire article added, p. 2067, § 7, effective May 22.


Federal and state provisions regarding who is authorized to file an administrative complaint under the federal Help America Vote Act are in conflict because the rule of standing under § 1-1.5-105 (2)(b) is narrower than, and inconsistent with, the federal provision under 42 U.S.C. § 15512(a)(1) and (a)(2)(B). Therefore, according to this section and 42 U.S.C. § 15512(a)(1), the federal statute must control. Marks v. Gessler, 2013 COA 115, — P.3d –.

District court had subject matter jurisdiction under this section to determine whether there is a conflict between 42 U.S.C. § 15512(a)(2)(B) and § 1-1.5-105 (2)(b). Marks v. Gessler, 2013 COA 115, — P.3d –.

Definition [HAVA]

The federal “Help America Vote Act of 2002”, P.L. No. 107-252, codified at 42 U.S.C. sec. 15301 et seq.1. C.R.S. § 1-1.5-102.

Definition [State]

A state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. C.R.S. § 1-8.3-102.

Definition [Section]

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, the abstract required by section 1-40-110 (3), 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.

Definition [Secretary]

The Colorado secretary of state. C.R.S. § 1-1.5-102.


Colorado Cases

Case Name: Marks v. Gessler

Citation: 350 P.3d 883 (Colo. App. 2013)

Year: 2013

Case URL:

Case Summary: The APA applies to judicial review of decisions made by the Secretary of State concerning the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). A district court has subject matter jurisdiction to hear claims about a potential conflict between state HAVA provisions and federal law. The right to an administrative hearing within the federal HAVA does not create a right enforceable in a § 1983 claim.

Out-of-State Cases

Federal Cases