1-4-1304. Nomination of candidates
Overview of Statute
A minor political party may nominate candidates in accordance with the guidelines in this article. These provisions, however, do not interfere with the ability of an unaffiliated candidate to qualify for the ballot by petition. In order to be valid, a minor political party must abide by its constitution and bylaws when nominating a candidate.
The minor political party may also nominate candidates by assembly no later than seventy-three days before the primary election, designating each candidate who receives at least thirty percent of the votes to be placed on the ballot. Should the assembly designate more than one candidate for an office, or designates one or more candidates and one or more candidates qualify by petition, the minor party nomination must be determined in a primary election. Should only one candidate be designated, that candidate will be the nominee.
Finally, the minor political party may only nominate registered electors who meet certain criteria. The nominee must also file a written acceptance with the designated election official by mail, fax, or hand delivery within a specified time limit.
 These provisions include C.R.S. § 1-4-302, 1-4-402(1)(a), 1-4-502(1), and 1-4-802.
 C.R.S. § 1-4-802: Guidelines for qualifying for a ballot by petition.
(1) A minor political party may nominate candidates in accordance with sections 1-4-302, 1-4-402(1)(a), 1-4-502(1), and 1-4-802 and this article.
(1.5)(a) A minor political party may nominate candidates for offices to be filled at a general election by petition in accordance with section 1-4-802.
(b)(I) A minor political party may nominate candidates for offices to be filled at a general election by assembly. Except as provided in subsection (1.5)(f) of this section, an assembly shall be held no later than seventy-three days preceding the primary election.
(II) Each candidate receiving thirty percent or more of the votes of all duly accredited assembly delegates who are present and voting on that office shall be designated by the assembly and certified pursuant to subsection (3) of this section.
(c) If an assembly designates more than one candidate for an office, or if an assembly designates one or more candidates and one or more candidates qualifies by petition, the candidate of the minor political party for that office shall be nominated at a primary election held in accordance with this code. A minor political party may prohibit unaffiliated electors from voting in the party’s primary election so long as the prohibition is in accordance with the party’s constitution, bylaws, or other applicable rules. Any minor party choosing to prohibit unaffiliated electors from voting in its primary election must notify the secretary of state of the prohibition not less than seventy-five days prior to the primary election.
(d) If only one candidate is designated for an office by petition or assembly, that candidate shall be the candidate of the minor political party in the general election.
(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent any eligible elector associated with a political organization that does not qualify as a minor political party in an election from qualifying for the ballot by petition as an unaffiliated candidate under section 1-4-802.
(f)(I) Notwithstanding subsection (1.5)(b)(I) of this section, due to public health concerns, for the 2020 election, an assembly of a minor political party shall be held on or before April 25, 2020.
(II) This subsection (1.5)(f) is repealed, effective December 31, 2020.
(2) Nominations by a minor political party, to be valid, must be made in accordance with the party’s constitution or bylaws. No nomination under this section is valid for any general election unless the nominee:
(a) Is a registered elector;
(b) Was registered as affiliated with the minor political party that is making the nomination, as shown in the statewide voter registration system, no later than the first business day of the January immediately preceding the general election for which the person was nominated, unless otherwise provided in the constitution or bylaws of the minor political party; and
(c) Has not been registered as a member of a major political party at any time after the first business day of the January immediately preceding the general election for which the person was nominated, unless otherwise provided in the constitution or bylaws of the minor political party.
(3) Any minor political party nominating candidates in accordance with this part 13 shall file a certificate of designation with the designated election official no later than four days after the assembly was held at which the candidate was designated. The certificate of designation must state the name of the office for which each person is a candidate and the candidate’s name and address, the date on which the assembly was held at which the candidate was designated, must designate in not more than three words the name of the minor political party that the candidate represents, and must certify that the candidate is a member of the minor political party. The candidate’s name may include one nickname, if the candidate regularly uses the nickname and the nickname does not include any part of a political party name. The candidate’s affiliation as shown in the statewide voter registration system is prima facie evidence of party membership.
(4) Any person nominated in accordance with this part 13 shall file a written acceptance with the designated election official by mail, facsimile transmission, or hand delivery. The written acceptance must be postmarked or received by the designated election official no later than four business days after the filing of the certificate of designation required under subsection (3) of this section. If the acceptance is transmitted to the designated election official by facsimile transmission, the original acceptance must also be filed and postmarked no later than ten days after the filing of the certificate of designation required under subsection (3) of this section. If an acceptance is not filed within the specified time, the candidate shall be deemed to have declined the nomination.
(5) Nothing in this part 13 shall be construed to allow a minor political party to nominate more than one candidate for any one office.
Source: L. 98: Entire part added, p. 254, § 1, effective April 13. L. 99: IP(2), (3), and (4) amended, p. 769, § 36, effective May 20; (3) amended, p. 161, § 12, effective August 4. L. 2001: (3) amended, p. 1002, § 7, effective August 8. L. 2003: (1) and (3) amended and (1.5) added, p. 1312, § 12, effective April 22. L. 2007: (2)(b) and (2)(c) amended, p. 1974, § 14, effective August 3. L. 2010: (2) amended, (HB 10-1271), ch. 324, p. 1503, § 6, effective May 27. L. 2011: (1.5)(b)(I) amended, (SB 11-189), ch. 243, p. 1065, § 15, effective May 27. L. 2012: (3) amended, (HB 12-1292), ch. 181, p. 681, § 18, effective May 17. L. 2016: IP(2), (2)(b), and (3) amended, (SB 16-142), ch. 173, p. 578, § 35, effective May 18. Initiated 2016: (1.5)(c) amended, Proposition 108, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, December 27, 2016. See L. 2017, p. 2825. L. 2020: (1) (b)(I) amended and (1)(f) added, (HB 20-1359), ch. 23, § 10, effective March 16.
Editor’s note: (1) Amendments to subsection (3) by Senate Bill 99-025 and House Bill 99-1152 were harmonized.(2) This section was amended by initiative in 2016.(3) Section 13 of Proposition 108 (p. 2827), Session Laws of Colorado 2017, provides that the measure changing this section applies to any primary election conducted after December 27, 2016.
Cross references: For the declaration of the people of Colorado in Proposition 108, see section1 on p. 2822, Session Laws of Colorado 2017.
Editor’s note: Amendments to subsection (3) by Senate Bill 99-025 and House Bill 99-1152 were harmonized.
1. Definition for Political party
Any group of registered electors who, by petition or assembly, nominate candidates for the official general election ballot. “Political party” includes affiliated party organizations at the state, county, and election district levels, and all such affiliates are considered to be a single entity for the purposes of this article, except as otherwise provided in section 7. Section 2(13) of article XXVIII of the state constitution.
2. Definition for Political organization
Any group of registered electors who, by petition for nomination of an unaffiliated candidate as provided in section 1-4-802, places upon the official general election ballot nominees for public office. C.R.S. § 1-1-104.
Alternate Meaning for Art. 45:
A political organization defined in section 527 (e) (1) of the federal “Internal Revenue Code of 1986”, as amended, that is engaged in influencing or attempting to influence the selection, nomination, election, or appointment of any individual to any state or local public office in the state and that is exempt, or intends to seek any exemption, from taxation pursuant to section 527 of the internal revenue code. “Political organization” shall not be construed to have the same meaning as “political organization” as defined in section 1-1-104 (24) for purposes of the “Uniform Election Code of 1992”, articles 1 to 13 of this title.
C.R.S. § 1-45-103
3. Definition for 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.
4. Definition for 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.
5. Definition for Ballot
(a) A federal write-in absentee ballot;
(b) A ballot specifically prepared or distributed for use by a covered voter in accordance with this article; or
(c) A ballot cast by a covered voter in accordance with this article.
(2) “Covered voter” means:
(a) A uniformed-service voter defined in paragraph (a) of subsection (9) of this section who is a resident of this state but who is absent from this state by reason of active duty and who otherwise satisfies this state’s voter eligibility requirements;
(b) An overseas voter who, before leaving the United States, was last eligible to vote in this state and, except for a state residency requirement, otherwise satisfies this state’s voter eligibility requirements;
(c) An overseas voter who, before leaving the United States, would have been last eligible to vote in this state had the voter then been of voting age and, except for a state residency requirement, otherwise satisfies this state’s voter eligibility requirements; or
(d) An overseas voter who was born outside the United States, is not described in paragraph (b) or (c) of this subsection (2), and, except for a state residency requirement, otherwise satisfies this state’s voter eligibility requirements if the last place where a parent, legal guardian, spouse, or civil union partner of the voter was, or under this article would have been, eligible to vote before leaving the United States is within this state.
C.R.S. § 1-8.3-102.
6. Definition for 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.
7. Definition for 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.
8. Definition for 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.
9. Definition for Secretary
The Colorado secretary of state. C.R.S. § 1-1.5-102.
10. Definition for 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.
Case Name: Riddle v. Hickenlooper
Citation: 742 F.3d 922 (10th Cir. 2014)
Federal Circuit Court: 10th Circuit Court
Case Summary: Holding that disfavored contributors to campaign of unaffiliated write-in candidate were similarly situated to favored contributors supporting her Republican and Democratic opponents; classification in statute violated the fundamental right to contribute as form of political expression; and statutory classification also violated the right to equal protection.