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Laws governing recall in Colorado

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The citizens of Colorado are granted the authority to perform a recall election by the Section 1 of Article 21 of the Colorado Constitution.

Colorado is one of nine states with provisions that say that the right of recall extends to recalling members of its federal congressional delegation, but it hasn't been clear whether federal courts would allow states to actually recall their federal politicians.[1]

Signature requirement

Main article: Colorado signature requirements

The number of valid signatures required to force a special recall election is 25% of the votes cast in the last election for the official being recalled.

Filing for recall

First, a recall petition must be filed with the office in which nomination petitions are filed for the official that is being recalled. Generally, this office is the Colorado Secretary of State. The petition must include a statement of no less than 200 words explaining the ground on which the official is to be recalled. This regulation is for the benefit of citizens who will sign the petition.


After the petition is approved by the Secretary of State, circulation of the petition may begin. Petitioners have 60 days to gather the proper number of signatures. After the proper number of signatures have been gathered the petition is submitted to the office in which it was filed to be deemed sufficient. This entails verifying the signatures. Once the petition has been deemed sufficient, the office in which it was filed will deliver the petition along with a certificate of it's sufficiency to the governor who will then set a date for the recall election.

Recall election

After the petition has been deemed sufficient, the official against whom the recall was filed may resign within five days without having the recall election held against them. If the official does not resign, the recall election will go on as scheduled. The election will be held not more than 60 days after the petition was deemed sufficient but not within 30 days after. However, if a general election is within 90 days of filing, then the recall election will beheld in conjunction with the general election.

The ballot will include the original statement from the petitioners as to why the official in question should be recalled, as well as a no more than 300 word rebuttal from the official, if the official submits a statement.

The ballot will have two boxes, marked "Yes" approving the recall and "No" disapproving the recall. There will also be a list of candidates for whom those that voted for the recall may vote for to replace the official. In this sense, the recall election is held simultaneously with the election of the new official.

If a majority of participants vote "No" in the recall, the official whom the recall was filed against will remain in their position. If there is a majority of "Yes" votes, then the new official will be the candidate on the list with the most votes.

See also

External links