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Colorado > Colorado Electoral Code > Recall and Vacancies In Office

1-12-103. Petition for recall – statement of grounds

Overview of Statute

Eligible electors of a political subdivision may initiate the recall of an elected official by signing a petition that demands a successor’s election to the office. The petition must include a general statement, containing less than two hundred words, that provides the grounds for the recall. This statement may not include any profane or false statement, and will be distributed to electors entrusted with determining the legality, reasonableness, and sufficiency of the grounds expressed.


Eligible electors of a political subdivision may initiate the recall of an elected official by signing a petition which demands the election of a successor to the officer named in the petition. The petition shall contain a general statement, consisting of two hundred words or less, stating the ground or grounds on which the recall is sought. The general statement may not include any profane or false statements. The statement is for the information of the electors who are the sole and exclusive judges of the legality, reasonableness, and sufficiency of the ground or grounds assigned for the recall. The ground or grounds are not open to review.



Source: L. 92: Entire article R&RE, p. 794, § 15, effective January 1, 1993.L. 2012: Entire section amended, (HB 12-1293), ch. 236, p. 1038, § 2, effective May 29.

Definition [Political subdivision]

A governing subdivision of the state, including counties, municipalities, school districts, and special districts. C.R.S. § 1-7.5-103.

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 [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.


Colorado Cases

Case Name: Shroyer v. Sokol

Citation: 550 P.2d 309 (Colo. 1976)

Year: 1976

Case URL:[...]

Case Summary:

  1. The power of recall—like that of the initiative and referendum—is a fundamental right of citizens within a representative democracy. Neither the legislature nor local lawmaking bodies may infringe constitutionally protected fundamental rights. Reservation of the power of recall in the people must be liberally construed in favor of the ability to exercise it; conversely, limitations on the power of recall must be strictly construed.
  2. While Art. XXI, Sec. 4, delegates the recall power to subordinate levels of state government, this delegation is limited to procedural matters and substantive provisions not in conflict with the state constitution.
  3. When portions of a statute are held unconstitutional, the remaining provisions will remain valid if they are complete in themselves and are not dependent on the invalid parts.

Case Name: R.E.C.A.L.L. (Residents Extremely Concerned About La Plata’s Leadership) v. Sauer

Citation: 721 P.2d 154 (Colo. App. 1986)

Year: 1986

Case URL:[...]

Case Summary: Both constitutional provisions governing recall of state officers and the statute relating to recall of county officers expressly require that circulators of recall petitions subscribe an oath. The simple statement appearing on the petition sheets at issue here includes neither a declaration that the statement is true, nor the formal words required by statute to be contained in oaths or affirmations. And, the statutes contemplate that oaths and affirmations must be administered to the maker by another person who is empowered so to act.

Case Name: Hazelwood v. Saul

Citation: 619 P.2d 499 (Colo. 1980)

Year: 1980

Case URL:[...]

Case Summary:

  1. The right of recall is a fundamental right of the people.
  2. Statutes governing the exercise of the power to recall are to be liberally construed in favor of the ability to exercise it, and any limitations on that power must be strictly construed.
  3. Section 30–10–203(2), C.R.S. 1973, also requires that ‘[t]he person circulating such [signature] sheet must make and subscribe an oath on such sheet that the signatures thereon are genuine. . . .’ An oath that appears to be tampered by circulators with the other elements of the signatures, i.e., the addresses and dates of signing does not meet the requirements of section 30 10–203(2), C.R.S. 1973.

Out-of-State Cases

Federal Cases