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SB24-210

Modifications to Laws Regarding Elections

Concerning modifications to laws regarding elections, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
Session:
2024 Regular Session
Subject:
Elections & Redistricting
Bill Summary

The bill modifies the "Uniform Election Code of 1992", the law regarding initiatives and referendums, and the "Fair Campaign Practices Act".

Elections generally. The bill specifies that the county clerk and recorder, as the chief election official for the county, sets the operational hours of the clerk and recorder's office. Qualification and registration of electors. The bill changes the age at which an individual may preregister to vote from 16 to 15 years old. repeals the authorization for a 17-year-old who is preregistered to vote as an 18-year-old in a general election from voting as a 17-year-old in a primary election or presidential primary election that precedes that general election. Political party organization. The bill specifies that when a state senatorial district or state representative district is comprised of one or more whole counties or of a part of one county and all or a part of one or more other counties, a state senatorial central committee or a state representative central committee consists of the elected precinct committee persons, as well as the chairpersons, vice-chairpersons, and secretary of the several party county central committees, who reside within the state senatorial district or the state representative district. Access to ballot by candidates. The bill specifies that the law prohibiting a candidate who was defeated in a primary election from participating in a general election does not apply to a candidate for president of the United States; allows the governor to designate a location other than the office of the governor for the presidential electors to convene if the governor determines that it is not feasible to meet in the office of the governor; makes the deadlines for a candidate to file a petition in a congressional vacancy election consistent with other deadlines; makes the general timeline for circulating petitions to get on the ballot applicable to presidential electors for unaffiliated presidential candidates; aligns the minor political party candidate petition calendar with the major political party candidate petition calendar; clarifies that an unaffiliated candidate for president of the United States is exempt from the requirement that a candidate be registered as unaffiliated with a political party in the statewide voter registration system prior to the general election; repeals the ability of a preregistrant to sign a petition to nominate a candidate for a primary election; requires a candidate or candidate committee, recall committee, or representative of a minority party petition to submit a paid circulator report, if applicable, to the secretary of state (secretary); and modifies the timing for a candidate to cure a nominating petition signature deficiency. Notice and preparation of elections. The bill requires the secretary to administer a pilot program that allows the county clerk and recorder or designated election official (clerk) of a county with at least 10,000 but fewer than 37,500 active electors and with at least 3 cities or towns where the second and third largest cities or towns that are located entirely within the county both have less than 3% of the active electors in the county, to request a waiver of the requirement to designate 3 voter service and polling centers (VSPC) on election day and instead designate at least 2 VSPCs on election day; repeals an obsolete provision specifying data to be used to determine the number of students enrolled at an institution of higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic; specifies that for a general election, a county shall establish a drop box on each campus of an institution of higher education located within the county that has 1,000, rather than 2,000, or more enrolled students; clarifies that each clerk is required to ensure that primary election ballots are printed in accordance with existing law; repeals obsolete language regarding voting equipment and makes a necessary conforming amendment; updates several provisions regarding the use of voting systems to align with current practice; requires the secretary to approve or deny an application from a political subdivision to purchase a new electromechanical voting system within 30 days of receiving the application; modifies the standards for accessible voting systems to align with federal standards; and repeals obsolete language regarding direct recording electronic voting systems. Election judges. The bill changes the deadline by which the county chairperson of each major political party in a county is required to certify to the clerk the names and addresses of registered electors recommended to serve as election judges in the county and implements an appeal process for an election judge who is preemptively removed as an election judge by the county chairperson or authorized official . Conduct of elections. The bill allows a registered elector who will not have been a Colorado resident for at least 22 days immediately before a general election to cast a provisional ballot, which includes only a vote for president and vice president, in that election; extends the deadline for the secretary to adopt rules concerning the tabulation, reporting, and canvassing of results for a coordinated election using instant runoff voting conducted by multiple counties from January 1, 2025, to January 1, 2026; makes conforming amendments in connection with the repeal of a preregistrant's authorization to vote in a primary election; updates provisions regarding voting machines and the inspection of voting machines by election judges; repeals obsolete provisions regarding sample ballots, the seal on voting machines, the manner of voting by eligible electors, write-in ballots, and how voting system software is installed; clarifies that the secretary will conduct a random audit of voting devices only if a risk-limiting audit is not possible after an election; and extends the deadlines for the secretary to promulgate rules necessary to conduct risk limiting audits in an election using instant runoff voting and for a county to audit an election using instant runoff voting conducted as part of a coordinated election from January 1, 2025, to January 1, 2026. Mail ballot elections. The bill allows a clerk to request a waiver from the secretary of state exempting the county from the remote location drop box ballot collection requirements and specifies alternative collection requirements if a waiver is granted; repeals obsolete provisions that direct clerks how to count ballots that are cast on electronic or electromechanical vote tabulating equipment; specifies the conditions under which an elector may request a replacement ballot from the clerk; and modifies the time by which an elector must request a replacement ballot from the clerk. Recounts. The bill repeals obsolete provisions regarding recounts in nonpartisan local elections and clarifies who has standing to request a recount challenge. Certificates of election and election contests. The bill repeals obsolete language regarding the election of precinct officers and duplicative language regarding the resolution of tie votes and specifies that a contest concerning a presidential elector must be filed with the supreme court no later than 24 days after the general election and specifies the deadline for the supreme court to rule on such a contest. Recall elections. The bill modifies the deadline for filing a nomination petition for a candidate to succeed an officer who is sought to be recalled. Initiative and referendum. The bill repeals an obsolete provision regarding filing a paid circulator report with the secretary and repeals obsolete language regarding the effective date of the bills enacted during the 2020 legislative session that included an act subject to petition clause. Fair campaign practices. The bill prohibits a natural person who is not a citizen of the United States, a foreign government, or a foreign corporation from making a direct ballot issue or ballot question expenditure in connection with an election on a ballot issue or ballot question in the state; specifies that a candidate seeking reelection does not have to file an additional disclosure statement filed pursuant to current law if the incumbent has filed the annual report required by law within the last 30 days from which the incumbent becomes a candidate for reelection; clarifies that any person may file a complaint with the secretary of state about a candidate not complying with the disclosure statement requirements; and requires a candidate for specified offices to amend the disclosure statement when there is a substantial change of interests in connection with which the disclosure is required.

The bill modifies the public official disclosure requirements specified in the "Colorado Sunshine Act of 1972" to require that specified public officials file an annual disclosure statement with the secretary and to amend the disclosure statement when there is a substantial change of interests in connection with which the disclosure is required; requires specified public officials who are serving in office in the 2024 calendar year, but who have not filed an annual disclosure statement in the 2024 calendar year, to file a disclosure statement within a specified amount of time; requires the disclosure statements to be available on the secretary's website; repeals a provision that allows a public official to file an income tax return with the secretary in lieu of filing certain information required in the disclosure statement; allows any person who believes that a public official member of the general assembly is not complying with the public official's disclosure requirements to file a complaint with a specified individual or entity as determined based on the office held by the public official and requires the secretary to notify the appropriate individual or entity if an official member of the general assembly does not timely file the required annual disclosure statement; and requires an individual who receives a complaint to investigate the complaint using existing procedures.

In addition, the bill amends the "Colorado Open Records Act" to specify that if a clerk receives a request for records that are in active use, in storage, or otherwise not readily available, and the request is made during an election for which the clerk is the designated election official, the clerk may take additional time to fulfill the request under certain circumstances ; except that the allowance for additional time does not apply if the requester of the public records is a mass medium organization or a newsperson .

(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)


(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)

Status

Introduced
Passed
Became Law

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Bill Text

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details