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Elections

Election Resources

This page contains detailed information about:

Conduct of Elections FAQ

What is the purpose of a Primary Election and a General Election?

The State of Colorado holds regularly scheduled state elections every two years. During a regularly scheduled election year, a Primary Election is held in June, followed by the General Election in November. During a Presidential Election year, a Presidential Primary Election is also held in March. The purpose of the Presidential Primary Election and Primary Election is to nominate candidates from each party’s primary ballot for the November General Election. The winner(s) of the November General Election are then elected to hold office.

What is a Coordinated Election?

A coordinated election is one that the county clerk and recorder conducts on behalf of two or more political subdivisions that are hosting an election on the same day in November. Specifically, for a coordinated election to take place, the election must:

  • Have more than one political subdivision holding an election (state, county, municipality, school district, or special district);
  • Take place on the same day in November; and
  • The eligible voters either are the same for each election or live in overlapping subdivision boundaries.

Generally, the November odd-year election is referred to as the coordinated election. And, like all elections in Colorado, coordinated elections are conducted by mail ballot.

Where can I find Federal and State election laws?

Federal and State election laws and the Secretary of State election rules are available on the Election Laws, Rules, & Resources page.

Where can I find a list of important election dates?

Key dates for voters in each election cycle are listed on the Upcoming Election Information page. The complete Elections Calendar from the Colorado Secretary of State provides a detailed list of all statutory requirements and deadlines for each election cycle.

Colorado conducts all mail ballot elections. What does this mean and how does the process work?

Every active registered voter in Colorado receives a ballot by mail. You can choose to return your voted ballot by mail, ballot drop box, or at a voter service and polling center (VSPC).

Your mail ballot will be sent to the mailing address you provided when you registered to vote. To check what address you provided when registering to vote or to update your voter registration, please visit GoVoteColorado.gov.

Mail (paper) ballots are the most secure way to conduct an election. They can’t be hacked, are completely auditable, are processed every step of the way by teams of election judges representing different political affiliations, are stored in secure facilities with locks and cameras, and are regarded as a national model for elections security and high voter turnout.

Watch and share the Life of a Ballot video on DouglasVotes.com to see the process in action.

How do I know if my ballot has been mailed to me?

Please visit the Track Your Ballot page. You have the option to manage updates regarding your ballot status by phone, email or text message. You may also visit GoVoteColorado.gov and click on ‘Find my registration’. Once you are logged into your voter record, you can check your ballot status. If you have any additional questions about the status of your mail ballot, please contact Douglas County Elections at 303-660-7444.

If I choose not to vote on a candidate or question, will my other votes still be counted?

Yes. If you choose not to vote for a candidate or a ballot question, the rest of the votes on your ballot will be counted.

How can I make sure my ballot is counted?

Every valid mail ballot is counted. To ensure your ballot is valid, follow the instructions on your ballot regarding how to mark your choices and make any corrections. Also read the instructions on your ballot return envelope and sign your ballot return envelope.

For your ballot to count, your county clerk must receive your ballot no later than 7:00 PM on Election Day. Postmarks do not count. If you are unsure whether your ballot will arrive through the mail on time, deliver it in person at one of the convenient ballot drop box locations throughout Douglas County or at a Voter Service and Polling Center.

If you are registering to vote for the first time, you may need to provide a copy of your ID with your mail ballot. These instructions will be provided with your mail ballot.

Visit the Track Your Ballot page to manage updates regarding your ballot status by phone, email or text message.

What type of voting equipment does Douglas County use? Is there a way to vote electronically?

Colorado is an all-mail ballot state. If a voter chooses not to use the paper ballot that is mailed to them and instead requests a replacement ballot from Douglas County Elections or a Voter Service and Polling Center (VSPC), the voter will be issued the exact same paper ballot, created and printed on site, as the original mail ballot sent to them. The original ballot must be destroyed as it is against the law to attempt to vote more than one time.

Each VSPC is equipped with an ADA-accessible ballot marking device that any voter may request to use. Upon completion of the voting process, this ballot marking device will print a paper ballot indicating the choices selected for the voter to place in the ballot box. There is no option to vote electronically at a Douglas County VSPC.

Paper ballots provide a secure and completely auditable method for conducting elections. Douglas County Elections uses Clear Ballot election technology and the Clear Count tabulation and reporting system for all ballot processing.

My number is registered on the “Do Not Call” list, but I still receive calls from candidates and political campaigns. Is this legal?

Yes. The law makes an exemption for “political calls” when defining “telephone solicitation.” Specifically, Section 6-1-903(10) of the Colorado Revised Statutes, states:

(a) “Telephone solicitation” means any voice, telefacsimile, graphic imaging, or data communication, including text messaging communication over a telephone line or through a wireless telephone for the purpose of encouraging the purchase or rental of, or investment in, property, goods, or services.

(b) Notwithstanding [the above definition], “telephone solicitation” does not include communications:

(V) Made for the sole purpose of urging support for or opposition to a political candidate or ballot issue; or

(VI) Made for the sole purpose of conducting political polls or soliciting the expression of opinions, ideas, or votes. In addition to the political phone calls, there is an increase in the volume of political literature sent through the mail.

There is no complaint or removal process established for political calls or mailings. One option is contacting your county clerk and recorder and requesting that your phone number be removed from your voter registration information. But this will NOT guarantee that your phone number will not be obtained from other sources.

What is misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation, known as MDM, and what impact does it have on elections? What can I do to make sure I have trusted information?

Misinformation is false, but not created or shared with the intention of causing harm. Disinformation is deliberately created to mislead, harm, or manipulate a person, social group, organization, or country. Malinformation is based on fact, but used out of context to mislead, harm, or manipulate.

Spreading MDM about the conduct of elections is designed to create chaos, confusion, division, and to degrade confidence in U.S. institutions and democratic processes, which in turn undermines the ability to effectively carry out an election.

Follow these three steps to protect against MDM:

  1. BE AWARE: MDM is spread to decrease confidence in elections, but it does not change what is fact and truth.
  2. THINK BEFORE YOU LINK. Do not spread disinformation and verify sources for accuracy.
  3. RELY ON TRUSTED SOURCES for election information: GoVoteColorado.gov and DouglasVotes.com.

Recall Election FAQ

What is a recall election?

All elected officials are subject to recall after holding office for at least six months. A recall petition can not be circulated or filed against any elected official whose term of office will expire within six months. For all county offices and school district offices subject to recall, the County Clerk serves as the Designated Election Official (DEO) who conducts the election.

What is the first step of the recall process?

Proponents of the recall must submit a petition for approval by the County Clerk prior to printing and circulating. Once the petition format is submitted, the Clerk will approve or reject it within seven business days. The petition must contain a statement of 200 words or less stating the grounds on which the recall is sought. It may not contain profane or false statements. The Clerk will provide specific reasons if a petition is disapproved. The petition can be corrected and submitted again.

How does the petition process work? How many signatures are required?

Once a recall petition is approved, circulators have 60 days to gather signatures and submit petitions.

The Clerk must notify the incumbent that the recall petition has been filed.

For County Officials: A petition to recall a county officer must be signed by eligible electors equal in number to 25% of all votes cast for that office in the previous general election.

For School District Officials: A petition to recall a school district officer must be signed by eligible electors of the school district equal in number to at least 40% of ballots cast in the last election for that office, not to exceed fifteen thousand signatures. (If there was no election, signatures must equal in number at least 10% of electors residing in the district once the petition is approved for circulation, not to exceed fifteen thousand signatures.)

Petition circulators must review Colorado state law before circulating a petition. (C.R.S. 1-12-108)

Every person who circulates the petition must be: a U.S. citizen, and at least 18 years old.

Petitions are submitted to the Clerk for determination of sufficiency. The Clerk has 15 business days to review petitions to verify if there are enough signatures of eligible electors.

If the County Clerk finds the petition insufficient, proponents have 15 days to collect more signatures, or cure deficiencies, and resubmit the petition.

How are petitions checked for sufficiency?

The staff of the Douglas County Elections office must review all petition information and verify it against Colorado’s Statewide Voter Registration System (SCORE). Note that this is not signature verification. Staff members compare individual entries to the registration records in SCORE to verify that each signer was registered at the address provided on the petition at the time they signed the petition.

Can a recall petition be protested?

Any eligible elector residing within the district may file a protest within 15 days after a petition is declared sufficient.

How is the date of a recall election determined?

If the incumbent does not resign within 5 days after the sufficiency of the recall petition has been certified and the time for protest has passed, the Clerk will call the election and set the election date for no sooner than 30 days and no later than 60 days from the date of final sufficiency. If there is a General Election within 90 days, the recall question will be combined with that election.

What information is included on a recall ballot?

The official ballot shall contain the statement stating the grounds for demanding the officer’s recall. The officer sought to be recalled may submit to the County Clerk a statement of 300 words or fewer justifying the officer’s course of conduct. The officer shall not include any profane or false statements in the statement of justification. The officer shall submit the statement no later than 10 business days after the petition has been deemed sufficient and the time for protest has passed.

The election of a successor is held at the same time as the recall election. The names of those persons nominated as candidates to succeed the person sought to be recalled, except write-in candidates, will appear on the ballot. The name of the person against whom the petition is filed will not appear on the ballot as a candidate for office.

How does the recall election work?

The County Clerk shall publish notice of the recall election in a newspaper of general circulation.

The County Clerk will mail ballots to eligible electors in accordance with the mail ballot plan submitted to and approved by the Secretary of State no later than the 15th day before the last day voted mail ballots may be returned by electors.

The office of the County Clerk and Recorder, or another suitable location, will function as a voter service and polling center from the twenty-second day prior to Election Day through that final day of voting.

There must be one voter service and polling center for each 30,000 active eligible electors in the district of the incumbent sought to be recalled. Each additional voter service and polling center must be open from the 8th day prior through the final day of voting in the recall election.

How is a recall election decided?

If a majority of those voting on the question of the recall of any incumbent from office vote “no”, the incumbent will remain in office; if a majority vote “yes”, the incumbent will be removed from office upon the qualification of the successor.

Who pays for a recall election?

The county pays for the recall election of a county official, the school district pays for the recall election of a district officer.

For more information, please visit the Colorado Secretary of State web page on Recall Petitions. Concerns or complaints regarding a recall effort may be submitted to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office:

Campaign Finance Guidance

303-894-2200, press 3
[email protected]

Campaign Finance Complaints and Enforcement

303-894-2200, ext. 6338
[email protected]

Information on Recounts

A recount occurs only after the canvass board certifies the original vote count. There are two ways in which a recount is triggered in Colorado:

  1. The difference between the highest number of votes cast in an election contest and the next highest number of votes in the same contest is less than or equal to 0.5%. Under this circumstance, the Colorado Secretary of State shall order a recount within 25 days (C.R.S. 1-10.5-101(1)(b)).
    Example:
    Candidate #1 – 200 votes
    Candidate #2 – 198 votes
    (1) 200 votes – 198 votes = 2 votes
    (2) 2 votes ÷ 200 votes = .01 or 1%
    (3) 1% is greater than 0.5%, therefore a recount is not mandated.
  2. Any “interested party” may request a recount of a vote for an election to which they were a party.

 

What is an “interested party”?
An interested party is defined by (C.R.S. 1-10.5-106(1)): As used in this section, “interested party” means the candidate who lost the election, the political party or political organization of such candidate, any petition representative identified pursuant to section 1-40-113 for a ballot issue or ballot question that did not pass at the election, the governing body that referred a ballot question or ballot issue to the electorate if such ballot question or ballot issue did not pass at the election, or the agent of an issue committee that is required to report contributions pursuant to the “Fair Campaign Practices Act”, article 45 of this title, that either supported a ballot question or ballot issue that did not pass at the election or opposed a ballot question or ballot issue that passed at the election.

A link to the “Fair Campaign Practices Act” can be found in the list of resources at the bottom of this page.

Who pays for a recount?
If the recount is triggered due to a vote differential of less than or equal to 0.5% between any election item winner and any election item loser, the certifying entity (State, County, Municipality, etc.) that certified the ballot issue is responsible for the fees (C.R.S. 1-10.5-101(1)(b)).

If the recount comes at the request of an interested party, the interested party is responsible for the expense of the recount provided the results of the recount do not change the outcome of the election. If the recount does reverse the outcome of the election, or if the recount shows that a recount should have automatically been triggered, the cost of the recount will be refunded to the interested party (C.R.S. 1-10.5-106(2)).

Fee for Recounts of Results that are less than 5%

Fees assessed for recounts of results where the interested party requesting the recount was less than five percent (5%) from prevailing in the election to be recounted, will be determined by adding all of the additional costs that will be incurred by conducting the recount. This fee will include but is not limited to costs for election judges, Canvass Board members, temporary staff used just for the recount, additional office supplies, etc. Normal operating costs for the Elections Division will not be included for these recounts.

Our office is unable to provide a quote for recount fees until after the Board of Canvass has certified the election. Once the election is certified by the Board of Canvass, estimates of recount costs will be provided within one day of receipt of the request.

Fee for Recounts of Results that are 5% or more

Fees assessed for recounts of results where the interested party requesting the recount was five percent (5%) or more from prevailing in the election to be recounted, will be determined by adding all of the total costs associated with conducting the recount to include normal operating costs directly related to performing the recount. This fee will include but is not limited to all costs for election judges, Canvass Board members, and staff time needed for the recount, any office supplies needed, prorated percentage of utilities, and any other cost, etc.

Our office is unable to provide an estimate for recount fees until after the Board of Canvass has certified the election. Once the election is certified by the Board of Canvass, estimates of recount costs will be provided within one day of receipt of the request.

Colorado Law Regarding Recounts

The Colorado Revised Statutes governing recounts can be viewed and printed from the link below titled, “C.R.S. 1-10.5: Recounts.”

Additional Resources

Read More

Caucus FAQ

What is a precinct caucus?

Precinct caucuses are meetings of registered electors within a precinct who are members of a particular major political party. The purpose of precinct caucuses is to elect precinct committee persons and delegates to county assemblies. The statutory list of electors from each major party interested in serving as election judges for upcoming elections is also compiled at caucus. Caucuses are held in locations across Colorado and are open to the public.

Who can vote in a precinct caucus?

To be eligible to vote in a political party’s precinct caucus a voter must be:

  • A resident of the precinct for at least 22 days;
  • Registered to vote no later than 22 days before the caucus; and
  • Affiliated with the party holding the caucus for at least 22 days before the caucus.

Can I participate if I turned 18 or became a citizen less than 22 days before my party’s caucus?

Yes. Anyone who turns 18 or becomes a naturalized citizen less than 22 days before their party’s caucus may still participate if they are a registered member of the Democratic or Republican party.

In addition, a registrant who is seventeen years of age on the date of a caucus and who will be eighteen years of age on the date of the next general election may vote at the caucus.

Where do I caucus if I moved within 22 days before my party’s caucus?

In this instance, you may only participate in your party’s caucus at your old address. However, you will not be eligible to be elected as a delegate or committee person.

Can unaffiliated voters attend precinct caucuses?

Unaffiliated voters should contact the major political parties in their county directly for information about attending caucus.

How can I find out my precinct information to participate in caucus?

Please visit GoVoteColorado.gov and click on “Find my registration”. Enter your first and last name, zip code, and birthday, then click “Search”. Select the tab titled “County & District Information”. Your Precinct number and its explanation will be listed under “District Information”.   The last three digits of your precinct number are the information you need to determine your caucus location. Contact your political party directly for specific caucus locations for each precinct.

Where can I get additional information about my precinct caucus?

The Douglas County Republican Party Caucus will be held on Tuesday, March 1, 2022, at 7 PM. (Check in at 6:30 PM)

The Douglas County Democratic Party Caucus will be held on Saturday, March 5, 2022, at 2 PM.

Contact your political party for information about your precinct caucus:

When are precinct caucuses held?

In each even-numbered year, political parties hold their precinct caucuses on a date no earlier than the first Tuesday in March and no later than the first Saturday after the first Tuesday in March.

The persons receiving the highest number of votes at the precinct caucus are the delegates to the county assembly from the precinct. Contact your political party for additional information relating to caucus and party rules.

Where are precinct caucuses located?

The county central committee or executive committee of the political party is responsible for determining the time and place of the caucus. Precinct caucuses may be held in a public place or a private home that is open to the public during the caucus that is in or near the precinct. The location must be physically accessible to persons with disabilities and comply with the rules of the county central committee.

Signs must be posted designating precinct caucus locations no later than 12 days before the caucus. The signs must state: “Precinct caucus place for precinct no. ________”

What happens at a precinct caucus?

Caucus attendees elect officers who will be responsible for organizing political activities within the precinct. Caucus attendees also elect delegates and alternates to represent the precinct at the political party’s county or district convention. The statutory list of electors from each major party interested in serving as election judges for upcoming elections is also compiled at caucus.

When are county assemblies, district assemblies, and state assemblies held?

The county assembly is held no later than 25 days after the precinct caucuses. The date of the district assembly is determined by the chairperson of the district committee but happens after the county assemblies. The state assembly is held after the district and county assemblies, but no later than 73 days before the June Primary Election.

What happens at a county assembly, district assembly, and state assembly?

The county assembly is convened to designate county candidates for the primary election and to select delegates to the congressional district assemblies and the state assembly.

The district assembly is then convened to designate district level delegates to the national convention. The delegates also nominate candidates for Congress, the Colorado General Assembly, the State Board of Education, the Board of Regents, and District Attorneys.

The purpose of the state assembly is to nominate candidates for statewide offices to the primary election ballot. During the assembly, delegates will also be elected to the national convention.

What do I do if I have more questions?

Contact your political party for information about caucuses and assemblies.

Electioneering and Campaign Sign Guidelines

What is electioneering?
As defined by Colorado statute, the term electioneering includes campaigning for or against any candidate and/or issue that is on the ballot. Electioneering also includes soliciting signatures for a candidate petition, a recall petition, or a petition to place a ballot issue or ballot question on a subsequent ballot.

Is electioneering allowed at a Voter Service and Polling Center?
According to Colorado Revised Statutes, no electioneering may take place within a 100-foot limit of any polling place, vote center, or early voting site (C.R.S. 1-13-714). This includes any location in which ballots are on site. Voter Service and Polling Centers can be located within privately owned buildings. Property owners have the right to not allow electioneering anywhere on their property, even if outside the 100-foot limit. Volunteers may be asked to move to public property at the legitimate request of the property owner.

Do campaign signs require a permit in unincorporated Douglas County? Are there county laws that apply to campaign signs?
Temporary campaign signs do not require a permit. They must, however, meet the guidelines of Section 29 of the Douglas County Zoning Resolution. The regulations governing signs for Douglas County apply only in portions of the county that are not incorporated. For information on the regulations that apply within a city or town within the county, please contact that municipality directly from the list below.

Where are campaign signs allowed?
The placement of campaign signs in unincorporated Douglas County is determined by Section 29, Subsection 2912, of the Douglas County Zoning Resolution. City and/or town planning departments, private property owners, and homeowner associations may impose additional regulations.

Who should I contact if I believe a sign does not conform to existing land use codes?
If you believe a campaign sign is in violation of a county or city code, please contact the appropriate department:

  • Douglas County Department of Community Development 303-660-7460
  • Aurora City Clerk’s Office 303-739-7094
  • Castle Pines Community Development Director 303-705-0225
  • Castle Rock Development Services 720-733-3559
  • Larkspur Town Clerk 303-681-2324
  • Littleton Community Development 303-795-3754
  • Lone Tree City Clerk 303-708-1818
  • Parker Community Development 303-841-2332
  • If you believe a campaign sign is in violation of your homeowner’s covenant, please contact your homeowner’s association or property management company.

What are the State of Colorado’s statutory requirements regarding campaign signs?

Interference with the distribution of election material (C.R.S. 1-13-113)

“During the period beginning forty-five days before and ending four days after any election, any person who prevents, hinders, or interferes with the lawful distribution of any card, pamphlet, circular, poster, handbill, yard sign, or other written material relating to any candidate for election for any office or relating to any issue that is to be submitted to the electors in any election, or any person who removes, defaces, or destroys any lawfully placed billboard, sign, or written material from any premises to which it was delivered, commits a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not more than seven hundred fifty dollars. Any person found guilty of removing, defacing, or destroying any billboard, sign, or written material shall pay the cost of replacement. The owner of the premises, an authorized agent of the owner, or any person charged with enforcement of any state law, ordinance, or regulation may remove any billboard, sign, or written material without penalty when placed without permission or authorization of the owner of such premises, or in violation of state law or county or municipal ordinance or regulation, or which is in place at any time other than during the period beginning forty-five days before and ending four days after an election.”