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Colorado > Colorado Electoral Code > Recall and Vacancies In Office

1-12-118.5. Postelection protest of successor candidate qualification – procedure

Overview of Statute

Within seventy-two hours of a recall election, electors in the political subdivisions may file a protest challenging the qualifications of the elected successor. These protests must be filed in the district court in the county in which the petition determination was issued, and the protest will take precedence over all other nonemergency civil matters before the court. Should the court decide that the successor fails to meet the qualifications, the office will be filled according to law. The officer recalled is ineligible to fill this vacancy.


(1) (a) Within seventy-two hours after certification of results of a recall election conducted under this article, any elector who is registered in a political subdivision represented by an official subject to recall may file a protest using the procedures in section 1-1-113 alleging that the successor candidate who received the highest number of votes fails to qualify for the office. The protest must be filed in the district court in the county in which the petition determination was issued.

(b) Any protest filed under paragraph (a) of this subsection (1) takes precedence over all other nonemergency civil matters before the district court.

(2) If the court determines, pursuant to a protest filed under subsection (1) of this section, that the successor candidate against whom the protest is made fails to qualify, that individual may not take office. In such case, the office is deemed vacant and shall be filled according to law, including section 2 (3) of article V of the state constitution and part 2 of this article. The officer recalled in the recall election at which the unqualified successor was elected is ineligible to fill the vacancy.


Source: L. 2014: Entire section added, (SB 14-158), ch. 170, p. 622, § 10, effective May 9.


Editor’s note: Section 17 of chapter 170 (SB 14-158), Session Laws of Colorado 2014, provides that the act adding this section applies to any recall petition approved for circulation by a designated election official or to any recall election held on or after May 9, 2014.

Cross references: For the legislative declaration in SB 14-158, see section 1 of chapter 170, Session Laws of Colorado 2014.

Definition [Fails to qualify]

Not satisfying the constitutional or statutory qualifications for office, whether by reason of age, citizenship, residency, or sufficient number of valid nomination petition signatures required by section 1-12-117(3). C.R.S. § 1-12-100.5.

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 [Designated election official]

The secretary of state, a county clerk and recorder, or other election official as provided by article XXI of the state constitution. C.R.S. § 1-12-100.5.

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.

Definition [Candidate]

Any person who seeks nomination or election to any state or local public office that is to be voted on in this state at any primary election, general election, school district election, special district election, or municipal election. “Candidate” also includes a judge or justice of any court of record who seeks to be retained in office pursuant to the provisions of section 25 of article VI. A person is a candidate for election if the person has publicly announced an intention to seek election to public office or retention of a judicial office and thereafter has received a contribution or made an expenditure in support of the candidacy. A person remains a candidate for purposes of this article so long as the candidate maintains a registered candidate committee. A person who maintains a candidate committee after an election cycle, but who has not publicly announced an intention to seek election to public office in the next or any subsequent election cycle, is a candidate for purposes of this article. Section 2(2) of article XXVIII of the state constitution.