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Colorado > Colorado Electoral Code > Challenges

1-9-101. Challenge of illegal or fraudulent registration


(1) (a) Any registered elector may, by written challenge, protest against the registration of any person whose name appears in a county registration record. The written challenge shall state the precinct number, the name of the challenged registrant, the basis for such challenge, the facts supporting the challenge, and some documentary evidence to support the basis for the challenge, and shall bear the signature and address of the challenger. The written challenge and supporting evidence shall be filed with the county clerk and recorder no later than sixty days before any election. The county clerk and recorder shall notify the registrant of the challenge and shall set a time and place for a hearing to be held not later than thirty days after the filing of the challenge, at which hearing the challenged registrant shall have the opportunity to appear. The person challenging the registration shall appear and shall bear the burden of proof of the allegations in the challenge. The county clerk and recorder shall conduct the hearing and receive testimony and evidence, shall render a decision in accordance with paragraph (b) of this subsection (1) no later than five days thereafter, and shall notify both parties of the decision.

(b) In rendering a decision, the county clerk and recorder has the following options:

(I) If the county clerk and recorder finds sufficient evidence to support the allegations in the challenge, he or she shall cancel the registered elector’s name from the statewide voter registration system; or

(II) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2013.)

(III)If the county clerk and recorder finds no evidence or insufficient evidence to support the allegations in the challenge, he or she shall deny the challenge to cancel the registered elector’s name from the statewide voter registration system.

(2) All appeals from the decision of the county clerk and recorder shall be to the district court within three days after the decision is issued. The appellant shall file in the district court a verified petition setting forth the facts presented at the hearing, the decision of the county clerk and recorder, and the basis for the appeal. Within twenty-four hours, the clerk of the district court shall mail to the other party a notice of the appeal and the time set for hearing, which shall be not less than three days nor more than five days after the date of filing.

(3) The court shall hear the testimony and other evidence and investigate summarily and, within forty-eight hours after the close of the evidence, determine whether or not the charges are sustained. Only competent legal evidence may be received at the hearing or considered by the court, and no name registered in accordance with law shall be canceled from the statewide voter registration system unless it is proven that the challenged person does not reside at the address provided by the person at the time of registration. No presumption may be made against any person whose registration is challenged merely because of the failure of that person to attend the hearing. The court has the power to subpoena any person as a witness at the hearing and make any necessary investigation to ascertain the truth of any of the charges in the petition if the method of the investigation does not cause unnecessary delay or interfere with the final disposition of the cause within the time provided for in this section. The hearing on any petition is summary and final and is not subject to delay. At the close of the hearing, the court shall announce the names in the petition as to which the charges have been sustained and shall direct the clerk of the court to certify forthwith to the county clerk and recorder the lists of names of those persons, with their addresses, arranged alphabetically and according to precinct. The county clerk and recorder, upon receipt of the list from the court, shall forthwith cancel those names from the statewide voter registration system for the proper precinct with the notation that the names were canceled pursuant to court order, giving the date of the order. The decision of the court is final, and no appeal lies to any other court; except that the supreme court, in the exercise of its discretion, may review any such proceedings in a summary way.

Source: L. 80: Entire article R&RE, p. 380, § 1, effective January 1, 1981.L. 87: (1) and (3) amended, p. 295, § 29, effective June 26.L. 89: (3) amended, p. 309, § 20, effective May 9.L. 91: (1)(b)(II) amended, p. 637, § 76, effective May 1.L. 92: Entire article amended, p. 771, § 12, effective January 1, 1993.L. 93: (1)(b)(II) amended, p. 1769, § 16, effective June 6.L. 97: (1)(b)(II) amended, p. 477, § 21, effective July 1.L. 99: (1)(a) amended, p. 778, § 63, effective May 20.L. 2000: (1)(a) amended, p. 301, § 1, effective August 2.L. 2013: (1)(b) amended, (HB 13-1303), ch. 185, p. 745, § 111, effective May 10.L. 2016: (1)(b)(I), (1)(b)(III), and (3) amended, (SB 16-142), ch. 173, p. 585, § 59, effective May 18.

Editor’s note: Articles 1 to 13 were numbered as articles 1, 3, 4, 9 to 19, and 21 of chapter 49, C.R.S. 1963. The substantive provisions of these articles were repealed and reenacted in 1980, resulting in the addition, relocation, and elimination of sections as well as subject matter. For amendments to these articles prior to 1980, consult the Colorado statutory research explanatory note and the table itemizing the replacement volumes and supplements to the original volume of C.R.S. 1973 beginning on page vii in the front of this volume. Former C.R.S. numbers prior to 1980 are shown in editor’s notes following those sections that were relocated. For a detailed comparison of these articles for 1980, see the comparative tables located in the back of the index.

Cross references: For school elections, see articles 30, 31, and 42 of title 22; for elections for removal of county seats, see article 8 of title 30; for municipal elections, see article 10 of title 31; for special district elections, see part 8 of article 1 of title 32; for exemption of certain statutory proceedings from the rules of civil procedure, see C.R.C.P. 81; for recall from office, see article XXI of the state constitution; for recall of state and county officers, see part 1 of article 12 of this title; for recall of municipal officers, see part 5 of article 4 of title 31; for recall of directors of special districts, see § § 32-1-906, 32-1-907.

Editor’s note: Articles 1 to 13 were repealed and reenacted in 1980. This article was numbered as article 16 of chapter 49, C.R.S. 1963. For additional historical information concerning the repeal and reenactment of articles 1 to 13 of this title in 1980, see the editor’s note immediately following the title heading for this title.

Editor’s note: This section is similar to former § 1-12-101 as it existed prior to 1980.

Cross references: In 2013, subsection (1)(b) was amended 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 [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 [Title]

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

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.