1-40-114. Petitions – not election materials – no bilingual language requirement
Overview of Statute
Initiative petitions are not required to be printed in any language other than English to be circulated in any county in Colorado.
The general assembly hereby determines that initiative petitions are not election materials or information covered by the federal “Voting Rights Act of 1965”, and therefore are not required to be printed in any language other than English to be circulated in any county in Colorado.
Source: L. 93: Entire article amended with relocations, p. 685, § 1, effective May 4.
Law reviews. For comment, “Montero v. Meyer: Official English, Initiative Petitions and the Voting Rights Act”, see 66 Den. U. L. Rev. 619 (1989). For comment, “Another View of Montero v. Meyer and the English-Only Movement: Giving Language Prejudice the Sanction of the Law”, see 66 Den. U. L. Rev. 633 (1989).
Annotator’s note. The following annotations include cases decided under former provisions similar to this section.
Holding that the minority language provisions of the federal Voting Rights Act not applicable to initiative petitions. With respect to initiative petitions, electoral process to which the minority language provisions of the Voting Rights Act would apply did not commence under state law until the measure was certified as qualified for placement on the ballot. Furthermore, the signing of petitions did not constitute “voting” under the act. Montero v. Meyer, 861 F.2d 603 (10th Cir. 1988), cert. denied, 492 U.S. 921, 109 S. Ct. 3249, 106 L. Ed. 2d 595 (1989) (decided prior to enactment of this section).
1. Definition for Circulated
Presented to an elector for the collection of a signature and other information required by this article. C.R.S. § 1-12-100.5.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
Case Name: Montero v. Meyer
Citation: 790 F. Supp. 1531 (D. Colo. 1992)
Federal District Court: District of Colorado
Case Summary: Holding that a group of plaintiffs had a liberty right to challenge the title board's decision on an "English Only" amendment that was added to the Colorado Constitution by the vote of this state's citizens. Therefore, adding an amendment without proper notice violated the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution. All registered electors also have an interest in the choice of language to be used in a private initiative's title, submission clause and summary.