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Colorado > Colorado Electoral Code > Help America Vote Act

1-1.5-104. Powers and duties of secretary of state

Overview of Statute

The secretary of state may, as reasonably necessary, exercise its power to ensure compliance with HAVA requirements in order to receive the federal funds provided by the legislation. Permissible action includes requiring education and training programs for local election officials, implementing changes to the statewide voter registration system, adopting a uniform administrative complaint procedure, and enforcing regulations designed to ensure compliance. In the event of alleged noncompliance with HAVA provisions, the secretary of state may also initiate an investigation. Other interested parties may also bring allegations related to noncompliance in the appropriate district court.


(1) The secretary may exercise such powers and perform such duties as reasonably necessary to ensure that the state is compliant with all requirements imposed upon it pursuant to HAVA to be eligible on a timely basis for all federal funds made available to the state under HAVA, including, without limitation, the power and duty to:

(a) Develop and require education and training programs and related services for state, county, and local election officials involved in the conduct of elections;

(b) Promulgate, oversee, and implement changes in the statewide voter registration system as specified in part 3 of article 2 of this title;

(c) Establish a uniform administrative complaint procedure in accordance with the requirements of section 1-1.5-105;

(d) Issue appropriate orders to county or local election officials in connection with the proper administration, implementation, and enforcement of the federal act, which orders shall be enforceable in a court of competent jurisdiction;

(e) Promulgate rules in accordance with the requirements of article 4 of title 24, C.R.S., as the secretary finds necessary for the proper administration, implementation, and enforcement of HAVA and of this article; and

(f) Exercise any other powers or perform any other duties that are consistent with this article and that are reasonably necessary for the proper administration, implementation, and enforcement of HAVA and that will improve the conduct of elections in the state in conformity with HAVA.

(2) (a) Acting either upon his or her own initiative or upon a complaint submitted to him or her giving the secretary reasonable grounds to believe that an election in this state is not being conducted in accordance with the requirements of HAVA or of this code, the secretary may investigate the allegation of noncompliance. In connection with such an investigation, the secretary may:

(I) Compel the testimony of witnesses and the production of documents from any state, county, or local official involved in the conduct of the election; and

(II) Send one or more official election observers to any county in the state to examine the conduct of any aspect of any election giving rise to the allegation of noncompliance. The clerk and recorder of the county in which the allegation of noncompliance arises shall assume the costs associated with the travel and other expenses of any observers sent to the county pursuant to this subparagraph (II) where the secretary has reasonable grounds to believe that the election is not being conducted in accordance with the requirements of HAVA or of this code.

(b) In order to satisfy the requirements of this subsection (2), the secretary may require that each county designate not less than three persons experienced in the conduct of elections to form a pool of official election observers.

(3) With the exception of a complaint brought under section 1-1.5-105 to remedy an alleged violation of HAVA, any interested party that has reasonable grounds to believe that an election is not being conducted in conformity with the requirements of this code may apply to the district court in the judicial district in which the allegation of noncompliance arises for an order giving the secretary access to all pertinent election records used in conducting the election and requesting the secretary to conduct the election.

(4) The secretary shall seek the full amount of funds available to the state under HAVA for distribution to the counties in accordance with HAVA.


Source: L. 2003: Entire article added, p. 2067, § 7, effective May 22.L. 2005: (4) added, p. 1394, § 4, effective June 6; (4) added, p. 1429, § 4, effective June 6.

Annotation: April 21, 2016 11:24 pm

These powers and duties are in additional to the general powers and duties prescribed for the Secretary of State in section 1-1-107, C.R.S.

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 [Title]

A brief statement that fairly and accurately represents the true intent and meaning of the proposed text of the initiative.

Definition [Person]

Any natural person, partnership, committee, association, corporation, labor organization, political party, or other organization or group of persons. Section 2(11) of article XXVIII of the state constitution.

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 [Election]

Any election under the “Uniform Election Code of 1992” or the “Colorado Municipal Election Code of 1965”, article 10 of title 31, C.R.S. C.R.S. § 1-7.5-103.

Definition [Secretary]

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

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