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Colorado > Colorado Electoral Code > Conduct of Elections

1-7-507. Electronic vote-counting – procedure

Overview of Statute

Only designated election officials, representatives of political parties, during partisan elections, and watchers, during nonpartisan elections, will oversee the proceedings at counting centers. Each of these individuals must take an oath affirming they will faithfully perform their assigned duties. While counting, only authorized individuals may touch any ballot, ballot card, “prom” or other electronic device, or return. Certified returns printed by electronic-vote tabulating machines will serve as official precinct returns, but designated election officials may also release unofficial returns. However, either election judges or officials at the counting centers may count write-in ballots. Designated election officials may also order hand counts of ballots from electronic vote-tabulating equipment, if necessary. Any tampering of ballots or other fraudulent activity must be reported to the district attorney for criminal prosecution.


(1) All proceedings at the counting centers shall be under the direction of the designated election official and the representatives of the political parties, if a partisan election, or watchers, if a nonpartisan election. No persons, except those authorized for the purpose, shall touch any ballot, ballot card, “prom” or other electronic device, or return.

(2) All persons who are engaged in the processing and counting of the ballots or recorded precinct votes shall be deputized in writing and take an oath that they will faithfully perform their assigned duties.

(3) The return printed by the electronic vote-tabulating equipment, to which have been added write-in votes, shall, when certified by the designated election official, constitute the official return of each precinct. The designated election official may, from time to time, release unofficial returns. Upon completion of the count, the official returns shall be open to the public.

(4) Repealed.

(5) Write-in ballots may be counted by the election judges or at the counting centers.

(6) If for any reason it becomes impracticable to count all or a part of the ballots with electronic vote-tabulating equipment, the designated election official may direct that they be counted manually, following as far as practicable the provisions governing the counting of paper ballots as provided in 1-7-307.

(7) The receiving, opening, and preservation of the transfer boxes and their contents shall be the responsibility of the designated election official, who shall provide adequate personnel and facilities to assure accurate and complete election results. Any indication of tampering with the ballots, ballot card, or other fraudulent action shall be immediately reported to the district attorney, who shall immediately investigate the action and report the findings in writing within ten days to the designated election official and shall prosecute to the full extent of the law any person or persons responsible for the fraudulent action.

(8) Repealed. / (Deleted by amendment, L. 2004, p. 1359, § 21, effective January 1, 2006.)

Source: L. 92: Entire article R&RE, p. 748, § 9, effective January 1, 1993.L. 2004: (7) and (8) amended and (8) repealed, pp. 1359, 1361, 1213, § § 21, 30, 31, 108, effective January 1, 2006.L. 2007: (4) amended, p. 1779, § 16, effective June 1.L. 2013: (5) amended and (4) repealed, (HB 13-1303), ch. 185, p. 723, § 75, effective May 10.

Editor’s note: This section is similar to former § 1-7-507 as it existed prior to 1992.

Cross references: (1) For counting procedure for paper ballots, see § 1-7-307; for counting procedure in use of voting machines, see § § 1-7-406 and 1-7-505.

(2) For the legislative declaration contained in the 2004 act amending subsections (7) and (8) and repealing subsection (8), see section 1 of chapter 334, Session Laws of Colorado 2004.

(3) In 2013, subsection (5) was amended and subsection (4) was repealed by the “Voter Access and Modernized Elections Act”. For the short title and the legislative declaration, see sections 1 and 2 of chapter 185, Session Laws of Colorado 2013.

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 [Title]

A brief statement that fairly and accurately represents the true intent and meaning of the proposed text of the initiative.

Definition [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.

Definition [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.

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: Meyer v. Lamm

Citation: 846 P.2d 862 (Colo. 1993)

Year: 1993

Case URL:

Case Summary: Holding that substantial compliance with statutes governing write-in votes was the appropriate standard for a recount; ballots with candidate's surname but no first name, initial, or nickname could be counted; ballot with candidate's surname and incorrect first name or initial could not be counted; and write-in votes for candidate on lines other than those for state representative could not be counted.

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Regulations & Guidance