1-5-412. Correction of errors
Overview of Statute
Designated election officials must correct any discovered errors so long as not interfering with the timely distribution of ballots. Individuals can also dispute errors before a court when impractical to revise the ballot otherwise, with court costs assessed by the court.
(1) The designated election official shall correct without delay any errors in publication or in sample or official ballots which are discovered or brought to the official’s attention and which can be corrected without interfering with the timely distribution of the ballots.
(2) When it appears by verified petition of a candidate or the candidate’s agent to any district court that any error or omission has occurred in the publication of the names or description of the candidates or in the printing of sample or official election ballots which has been brought to the attention of the designated election official and has not been corrected, the court shall issue an order requiring the designated election official to correct the error forthwith or to show cause why the error should not be corrected. Costs, including reasonable attorney fees, may be assessed in the discretion of the court against either party.
(3) If, before the date set for election, a duly nominated candidate withdraws by filing an affidavit of withdrawal with the designated election official or dies and the fact of the death becomes known to the designated election official before the ballots are printed, the name of the candidate shall not be printed on the ballots. Except in the case of a vacancy to be filled in accordance with the provisions of section 1-4-1002 (2.3) or (2.5), if the ballots are already printed, the votes cast for the withdrawn or deceased candidate are invalid and shall not be counted.
Source: L. 92: Entire article R&RE, p. 715, § 8, effective January 1, 1993. L. 99: (3) amended, p. 934, § 3, effective August 4. L. 2007: (3) amended, p. 1975, § 17, effective August 3. L. 2017: (3) amended, (SB 17-209), ch. 234, p. 963, § 9, effective August 9.
Editor’s note: (1) This section is similar to former § 1-6-409 as it existed prior to 1992. (2) Section 13 of chapter 234 (SB 17-209), Session Laws of Colorado 2017, provides that the act changing this section applies to elections conducted on or after August 9, 2017.
Cross references: For taxing reasonable attorney fees in favor of the defendant when an action is vexatiously commenced, see C.R.C.P. 3(a).
Annotator’s note. The following annotations include cases decided under former provisions similar to this section.
Holding that the purpose of allowing the correction of errors is to give the opposing candidate ample opportunity to see that his opponent’s name was not upon an unauthorized ticket or under a device to the use of which he was not entitled. Allen v. Glynn, 17 Colo. 338, 29 P. 670 (1892).
Holding that as the fundamental object of all election laws is the freedom and purity of the ballot. Allen v. Glynn, 17 Colo. 338, 29 P. 670 (1892).
Holding that the ample provision is made for the correction of ballots prior to the election. Allen v. Glynn, 17 Colo. 338, 29 P. 670 (1892).
Holding that it is the duty of candidates to make such objections in seasonable time, since it would not be in the interest of a fair expression of the will of the people to allow a candidate to lie by and not point out such objections as he may have to the form of the ballot until after the election has been held. Allen v. Glynn, 17 Colo. 338, 29 P. 670 (1892).
Holding that the voter has no control whatever over the publication of the names of candidates or the form of the ballots. If, for some defect in these particulars, the ballot must be rejected, the door would be open to fraud. Allen v. Glynn, 17 Colo. 338, 29 P. 670 (1892).
Holding that the clerk cannot correct improper certification of nominations. It is the duty of the county clerk to cause to be printed the names as certified to him by the secretary of state, and if such nominations are improperly certified, it constitutes no such error or omission in the publication of the names or description of the candidates as he is authorized to correct. Smith v. Harris, 18 Colo. 274, 32 P. 616 (1893).
1. 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.
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.
6. Definition for Secretary
The Colorado secretary of state. C.R.S. § 1-1.5-102.
7. 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: Smith v. Harris
Citation: 18 Colo. 274, 32 P. 616 (1893)
Case Summary: Affirming the election of a county judge, despite the secretary of state's allegedly improper certification of the candidate's name on the ballot.
Case Name: Allen v. Glynn
Citation: 29 P. 670
Case Summary: Holding that unsuccessful candidate could not object to the form of the ballot after the election was held, because legislature provided for ample opportunities for the correction of ballots prior to the election.