Colorado Rights Blog

SB14-158: Recall Elections How Conducted & Align Article XXI

Voting Rights
Bill Number: SB14-158
Year: 2014
ACLU Position: Support
Sponsors: Hullinghorst/Steadman, Jones


The bill makes various changes to the laws governing conduct of recall elections (recall laws).
Section 1 of the bill contains a nonstatutory legislative declaration.
Section 2 defines terms used in statutory and constitutional recall election provisions.
Section 3 prohibits a designated election official from suspending or avoiding the requirement that recall elections be conducted by mail ballot.
Section 4:
• Harmonizes the affidavit contents that recall petition circulators must execute with the affidavits that ballot initiative or petition circulators must execute;
• Clarifies when the designated election official must certify a recall question to the ballot and call the election; and
• Reorganizes for chronological clarity the provision setting forth the opportunity to resubmit signed petitions or circulator affidavits.
Section 5 applies the laws pertaining to initiative and referendum petitions and circulators to recall elections.
Section 6 conforms to the state constitution the statutory time within which a recall election date must be set by a designated election official and extends the election date in the case of protest and adjudication.
Section 7:
• Requires a designated election official to develop and submit to the secretary of state a mail ballot plan for a recall election;
• Specifies the times during which the office of the designated election official functions as a voter service and polling center and mail ballots must be sent; and
• Sets forth the number of voter service and polling centers required for each recall election.
Section 8 harmonizes with the state constitution the deadline by which a successor candidate must file his or her nomination petition and specifies the times within which such petitions must be verified and the recall election ballot certified.
Section 9 eliminates the statutory prior participation requirement, i.e. the condition that an elector cast a vote on the question of recall in order to have his or her vote for a successor candidate counted.
Section 10:
  • Allows an elector who is registered in the political subdivision of a recalled elected official to file a protest alleging that a winning successor candidate is not qualified to assume the recalled officer’s office; and
• Requires a vacancy election if the court finds that the successor candidate is not qualified.
Section 11 specifies that, in case of conflict between the recall laws and other provisions of the Uniform Election Code of 1992, the former controls.
Section 12 removes an obsolete reference to recall elections that appears under provisions governing petitions for candidacy in other types of elections. Previously, the statutes governing petitions for recall and petitions for candidacy were combined under a single statutory part. House Bill 95-1241 bifurcated the petition laws but neglected to amend
this particular provision.
Section 13 applies the laws regarding recall of elected municipal officers to the recall of local government officers.
Sections 14 and 15 make conforming amendments.

Current Status:

04/28/2014 - Sent to the Governor
04/21/2014 - Senate Considered House Amendments - Result was to Reconsider
04/17/2014 - House Third Reading Passed - No Amendments
04/14/2014 - House Second Reading Laid Over Daily - No Amendments
04/07/2014 - House Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Refer Unamended to House Committee of the Whole

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