4800 West 92nd Avenue Westminster, CO 80031

City Government

 

1. Elections

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CHAPTER 1

ELECTIONS

 

7-1-1: LEGISLATIVE INTENT
7-1-2: ADOPTION AND APPLICABILITY OF STATE LAW
7-1-3: WARDS; PRECINCTS; POLLING PLACES
7-1-4: ELECTION OFFICIAL
7-1-5: ELECTION COMMISSION
7-1-6: COORDINATED ELECTIONS
7-1-7: MAIL BALLOT ELECTIONS
7-1-8: MUNICIPAL CANDIDATE ELECTIONS
7-1-9: ELECTIONS ON INITIATIVE OR REFERENDUM MEASURES
7-1-10: ELECTIONS ON RECALL PETITIONS
7-1-11: SPECIAL ELECTIONS
7-1-12: PENALTIES FOR ELECTION OFFENSES
7-1-13: FAIR CAMPAIGN PRACTICES ACT

7-1-1: LEGISLATIVE INTENT: (3372)

(A) The purpose of this Chapter is the establishment of procedures for the regular and special elections of the City of Westminster, whether or not those elections are conducted as coordinated elections with Adams and Jefferson Counties.

(B) The Council intends that interpretations of this Chapter be consistent with the City's home rule authority to regulate its municipal elections under Article XX of the Colorado Constitution.

7-1-2: ADOPTION AND APPLICABILITY OF STATE LAW: (1748 2318 3228 3372)

(A) Subject to the Charter of Westminster and provisions of this Chapter, City elections will be conducted in accordance with the relevant portions of the Uniform Election Code of 1992, Articles 1 to 13 of Title 1, C.R.S., and the Colorado Municipal Election Code, Article 10 of Title 31, C.R.S., as they may be amended from time to time. As the Uniform Election Code was adopted by the legislature to cover many types of elections, various portions of that code are not applicable to municipal elections. In some instances, the Uniform Election Code and the Colorado Municipal Election Code have differing provisions regarding the same subject. For these reasons, in the event of a conflict of laws or an inconsistent provision therein, these laws shall be applied in the following order of priority:

1. the provisions of the Charter of Westminster
2. the provisions of the Westminster Municipal Code
3. the provisions of the Colorado Municipal Election Code of 1965, and
4. the relevant provisions of the Uniform Election Code of 1992.

(B) Notwithstanding the prioritization listed in subsection (A), when a City election is being conducted as a coordinated election, the Colorado Revised Statutes governing coordinated elections will control, to the extent said statutes are applicable to municipal elections.

7-1-3: WARDS; PRECINCTS; POLLING PLACES: (1172 1515 1718 1884 2002 2010 2163 2780 3014 3228 3372)

(A) The City shall consist of one ward.

(B) The Council shall, by resolution, from time to time, establish convenient election precincts, when required in order to conduct a City election.

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(C) No later than thirty (30) days before an election, other than a mail ballot election or a coordinated election, the City Council shall designate, by motion, the official polling places for said election.

(D) When required in order to conduct a City election, City precinct boundaries will be reviewed by the Election Commission after any State redistricting or County reprecincting has occurred. The Election Commission will then make a recommendation to Council if any precinct changes are necessary.

7-1-4: ELECTION OFFICIAL: (3372)

The City Clerk is the designated election official of the City of Westminster for all purposes specified in the Charter, this Code, or any applicable state statute.

7-1-5: ELECTION COMMISSION: (3372)

The Election Commission, created by Charter Section 3.10, consists of the City Clerk and four (4) qualified and registered electors of the City, who during their term of office shall not be City officers or employees or candidates or nominees for elective City office. Such four (4) members shall be appointed by the Council for a term of two (2) years at the first January Council meeting following a regular City election. They shall serve without compensation. The City Clerk shall be chairperson. The Election Commission shall appoint the Board of Election, judges and clerks for each precinct and have charge of all activities and duties required of it by applicable statute, this Code, and the Charter relating to the conduct of elections in the City. In any case where election procedure is in doubt, the Election Commission shall prescribe the procedure to be followed. The Election Commission shall provide for ballots and sample ballots, for voting machines or electronic voting equipment, for determination of the winner in event of a tie vote, for canvas of returns, and for issuance of appropriate certificates.

7-1-6: COORDINATED ELECTIONS: (2318 3228 3372)

(A) City elections shall be conducted, whenever possible, as a coordinated election conducted by Adams County or Jefferson County or both.

(B) For all coordinated elections, the City Council shall adopt, by resolution or ordinance as appropriate, the language of ballot issues or ballot questions prior to the date of the City Clerk's required certification of ballot contents to the respective county election official.

(C) The City Manager is authorized to sign all intergovernmental agreements regarding coordinated elections with the respective counties.

(D) For all coordinated elections, election precincts and polling places shall be determined by the coordinated election official of the respective county.

7-1-7: MAIL BALLOT ELECTIONS: (3372)

(A) Upon the call of an election by the City Council, the City Clerk is authorized to conduct elections by mail ballot.

(B) Unless provided otherwise by the Charter or this Code, such elections will be conducted pursuant to the requirements of Article 7.5 of Title 1, C.R.S., the Colorado Mail Ballot Election Act, as it may be amended from time to time, except the following provisions thereof:

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1. Section 1-7.5-107.3, C.R.S.
2. Section 1-7.5-109, C.R.S. and
3. Any provisions of the Act that the City determines are inconsistent with the City's authority over its elections pursuant to Article XX of the Colorado Constitution.

7-1-8: MAYOR AND COUNCILLOR ELECTIONS: (3372)

(A) General Conditions. Part 3 of Article 10 of Title 31, C.R.S., shall govern City elections for the Mayor or Councillors, except as provided in this Section.

(B) Nominating Petitions. Except as provided in (C) below, for all Councillor elections except recall elections, nominating petitions for the office of Mayor or Councillor may be circulated and signed beginning ninety-one (91) days prior to the election, and shall be filed with the City Clerk not later than seventy-one (71) days prior to the election. All candidates must be residents of the City for at least one (1) year immediately prior to the last day for filing nominating petitions.

(C) Nominating Petitions for Special Councillor Elections. For elections to fill a vacancy in elective offices pursuant to Section 5.7(b) of the Charter, the dates for the filing and circulating of nominating petitions shall be established by the City Council in the resolution setting the special election.

(D) Nominated Candidates. Only candidates whose names have been placed in nomination through the process designated in this Chapter are eligible to be placed on the ballot.

(E) Vacancies in Nominations. If any candidate dies or withdraws his or her name from nomination prior to the date upon which the City Clerk submits the ballot content to the ballot printer or, in the case of a coordinated election, to the respective County election official, the City Clerk shall use his or her best efforts to cause the candidate's name to be removed from the ballot.

(F) Content of Ballot. Every ballot shall contain the names of all duly nominated candidates for offices to be voted for at that election, except those who have died or withdrawn, and the ballot shall contain no other names. The arrangement of the names on the ballot shall be established by lot at any time prior to the certification of the ballot. The City Clerk shall notify the candidates of the time and place of the lot-drawings for the ballot. Two separate lot-drawings shall be held to establish the order of names on the respective ballots of Adams County and Jefferson County. The drawings shall be performed by the City Clerk or the Clerk's designee.

(G) Write-in Candidate Affidavit. No write-in vote for any elective officer shall be counted unless an affidavit of intent has been filed with the City Clerk by the person whose name is written in indicating that such person desires the office and is qualified and eligible to assume the duties of that office if elected. Such affidavit of intent shall be filed by the close of business on the sixty-fourth day before a regular municipal election or, for a special election, on the date set in the Council resolution for the filing of nominating petitions.

(H) Notice. At least ten (10) days before election for the office of Mayor or Councillor, the City Clerk shall publish notice in at least one newspaper having general circulation in the City, stating the day and date of the election, the hours during which the polls will be open unless it is a mail ballot election, naming the officers to be elected, and listing the names of those candidates as nearly as possible in the form in which such nominations shall appear upon the official ballot. Additionally, a copy of such notice shall be posted until after the election in a conspicuous place in the office of the City Clerk.

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7-1-9: ELECTIONS ON INITIATED OR REFERRED MEASURES: (3372) The procedures for exercising the initiative and referendum powers reserved to the City's electors by the City Charter and the Colorado Constitution shall be as follows:

(A) General Conditions. An ordinance may be initiated by petition or a referendum on an ordinance enacted by the City Council may be had by petition. Either an initiative or a referendum petition shall be signed by not less than ten (10) percent of the number of persons who were registered electors of the City as of the date of the last regular City election prior to the filing of the petition. In the case of a referendum on an ordinance granting a public utility franchise, said petition shall be signed by not less than five (5) percent of the number of persons who were registered electors of the City as of the date of the last regular City election. No petition shall propose to repeal more than one ordinance nor to initiate an ordinance containing more than one subject.

(B) Form of Petition. The City Clerk shall maintain and provide a blank form of petition; however, the Clerk shall not review or comment on the proposed wording of the petition's measure nor prepare a summary thereof. An initiative or referendum petition signed by the requisite number of signatures shall be addressed to the Council. Said petition may be in sections of one or more sheets fastened securely at the top. All sections of the petition shall be filed as one instrument, with the endorsement of the names and mailing addresses of three (3) registered electors of the City designated as the committee of petitioners filing the same. To each petition section there shall be attached a signed, notarized, and dated affidavit by the circulator of that section stating the number of signers thereof and the affiant's printed name and address, that the affiant is eighteen (18) years of age or older, that each signature thereon is the genuine signature of the person whose name it purports to be, and that each signature was made in the presence of the affiant circulator.

At the top of each section of the petition and at the top of each signature page shall be printed the following warning in bold-faced type:

WARNING:
IT IS AGAINST THE LAW:

For anyone to sign this petition with any name other than one's own or to knowingly sign one's name more than once for the same measure or to sign such petition when not a registered elector.
Do not sign this petition unless you are a registered elector. To be a registered elector, you must be a citizen of Colorado and registered to vote in Westminster.
Do not sign this petition unless you have read or have had read to you the proposed measure in its entirety and understand its meaning.

 

Below the warning shall be printed, at the top of each section of an initiative petition, a short summary of the proposed ordinance and below the summary the full text of the proposed ordinance. Below the warning and at the top of each section of a referendum petition, shall be printed a meaningful summary identifying the matter proposed for repeal, and then set forth the full text of the ordinance or part thereof or code section proposed to be repealed.

The signature pages shall consist of the warning and the summary, followed by ruled lines numbered consecutively for registered electors' signatures. If a petition section contains multiple signature pages, all signature lines shall be numbered consecutively, and the section pages shall be numbered consecutively from the first section page through the last.

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(C) Petition signatures. Each registered elector signing an initiative or referendum petition shall add the signer's printed name, the date of signing, his or her place of residence by street and number, and the county designation after his or her signature. All signatures on a referendum petition shall be obtained after the effective date of the ordinance proposed for repeal.

(D) Filing and Examination of Petition. An initiative petition shall be filed in the office of the City Clerk. No signature on an initiative petition may be counted if it was signed more than 180 days from the date of filing. A referendum petition shall be filed in the office of the City Clerk not more than thirty (30) days after the effective date of the ordinance proposed for repeal. Within fifteen (15) days of the filing of an initiative or referendum petition, the City Clerk shall ascertain by examination of the petition and the county voter registration records whether the petition is signed and appropriately dated by the requisite number of registered electors and shall attach thereto his or her certificate showing the result of such examination. If the petition as initially filed shows on its face an insufficient number of signatures, the City Clerk shall not be required to canvass the signatures and the petition shall be null and void. If the petition contains a sufficient number of signatures but an insufficient number of registered electors' signatures, the City Clerk shall forthwith notify by first class and electronic mail, if available, each of the persons designated as a member of the committee of petitioners. The petition may then be amended by the filing of additional petition signatures within fifteen (15) days from the filing of the certificate. The City Clerk, within five (5) days after such amendment, shall make like examination of the amended petition and attach thereto a second certificate of the result. If the petition is still insufficient, the City Clerk shall issue a certificate of insufficiency, a copy of which shall be provided to one (1) of the persons designated as the committee of petitioners. If the petition or amended petition is found sufficient, the City Clerk shall submit the same with his or her certificate to the Council at its next regular meeting. The City Clerk's determination of sufficiency or insufficiency is final.

(E) Council Action Upon Petition. Within thirty (30) days of receipt of the City Clerk's certificate establishing sufficiency of an initiative or referendum petition, the Council shall either:

1. Adopt the ordinance as submitted in an initiative petition;

2. Repeal the ordinance, or part thereof, requested for repeal in a referendum petition; or

3. Submit the proposal provided for in the petition to the electors at the next election, occurring not less than sixty (60) days after Council's decision to submit the proposal, held in the City for any other purpose or, in the Council's discretion, at a special election called specifically for that purpose.

(F) Content of Ballot. If an election has been ordered pursuant to Subsection (E) above, the Council shall fix a ballot title for each initiative or referendum, which ballot title shall correctly and fairly express the true intent and meaning of the measure, in the resolution calling the election. Any person protesting the wording of the ballot title shall file such protest with the City Clerk within seven (7) days of the Council's action. The Council shall consider said protest at their next regularly scheduled meeting or, at Council's discretion, at a special meeting called for that purpose and the Council's determination of the ballot title shall be final.

7-1-10: ELECTIONS ON RECALL PETITIONS: (3372) The procedure to recall an elective officer of the City shall be as follows:

(A) General Conditions. Any elective officer, as that term is defined in Article XXI of the Colorado Constitution, may be removed from office by the qualified electors of the City after the officer has held said office for at least six (6) months. Prior to the filing of any recall petition one (1) or more registered

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electors of the City shall file with the City Clerk a notarized affidavit, of not more than two hundred (200) words, stating the reasons for the recall of the officer sought to be removed. The City Clerk shall, within forty-eight (48) hours after the filing of said affidavit, mail a copy by registered mail to the officer sought to be recalled, who may file with the City Clerk a sworn statement of not more than three hundred (300) words in defense of charges made against him or her.

(B) Form of Petition. A petition for the recall of the officer sought to be removed and demanding an election of a successor to the officer named in the petition, signed by the requisite numbers of signatures, as detailed below, shall be addressed to the Council. The petition shall include the name of only one (1) person to be recalled. Said petition may be in sections of one (1) or more sheets fastened securely at the top. All sections of the petition shall be filed as one (1) instrument, with the endorsement of the names and mailing addresses of three (3) registered electors of the City designated as the committee of petitioners filing the same. To each petition section there shall be attached a signed, notarized, and dated affidavit by the circulator of that section stating the number of signers thereof and the affiant's printed name and address, that the affiant is eighteen (18) years of age or older, that each signature thereon is the genuine signature of the person whose name it purports to be, and that each signature was made in the presence of the affiant circulator.

At the top of each section of the petition and of each signature page shall be printed the following warning in bold-faced type:

WARNING:
IT IS AGAINST THE LAW:

For anyone to sign this petition with any name other than one's own or to knowingly sign one's name more than once for the same measure or to sign such petition when not a registered elector.
Do not sign this petition unless you are a registered elector. To be a registered elector, you must be a citizen of Colorado and registered to vote in Westminster.
Do not sign this petition unless you have read or have had read to you the proposed measure in its entirety and understand its meaning.

 

Below the warning shall be printed the title: "Petition to recall (name of person sought to be recalled) from the office of (title of office)". Below the title shall be printed a copy of the charges previously filed with the City Clerk.

(C) Petition Signatures. Each registered elector signing the petition shall add the signer's printed name, the date of signing, his or her place of residence by street and number, and the county designation, after his or her signature. If the petition seeks the recall of the Mayor, then the petition shall be signed by registered electors entitled to vote for a successor to the incumbent sought to be recalled equal in number to twenty-five percent (25%) of the entire vote cast for the office of Mayor at the last preceding regular election held in the City for that office.

If the petition seeks the recall of a non-mayoral Councillor, then the recall petition shall be signed by registered electors entitled to vote for a successor to the incumbent sought to be recalled equal in number to twenty-five percent (25%) of the entire vote cast at the last preceding regular election held in the City for all non-mayoral candidates, such entire vote being divided by the number of all officers elected to the office of Councillor at the last preceding regular election held in the City.

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(D) Filing and Examination of Petition. The petition shall be filed in the office of the City Clerk not more than sixty (60) days after the affidavit making charges against said officer has been filed. Within fifteen (15) days of the filing of said petition the City Clerk shall ascertain by examination of the petition and the registration books whether the petition is signed by the requisite number of registered electors and shall attach thereto his or her certificate showing the result of such examination. If the petition is insufficient, the City Clerk shall forthwith, in writing, notify one (1) or more of the persons designated as the committee of petitioners. The petition may be withdrawn and amended within fifteen (15) days from the filing of the certificate. The City Clerk, within five (5) days after such amendment, shall make like examination of the amended petition and attach thereto a certificate of the result. If the petition is still insufficient, the City Clerk shall return it to each of the persons designated as a member of the committee of petitioners, without prejudice to the filing of a new petition for the same person. If the petition or amended petition is found sufficient, the City Clerk shall submit the same with his or her certificate to the Council without delay. The City Clerk's determination of sufficiency or insufficiency is final.

(E) Call for Election. Upon receipt of the City Clerk's certificate, the Council, if the officer sought to be removed does not resign within (5) days thereafter, shall order an election by resolution, which shall contain the time periods for candidates to file their nomination petitions to succeed the person sought to be recalled. Such election shall be held on a Tuesday fixed by the Council not less than forty-five (45) nor more than sixty (60) days from the date that the City Clerk's certificate was filed; provided that, if any other City election is to occur within ninety (90) days but more than sixty (60) days from the date of the City Clerk's certificate, the Council shall postpone and consolidate the recall election with such other City election.

(F) Content of Ballot. On the official ballot at the recall election shall be printed, in not more than two hundred (200) words, the reasons set forth in the petition for demanding an officer's recall, and in not more than three hundred (300) words there shall also be printed, if desired by the officer, the officer's response in defense as filed with the City Clerk. There shall be printed on the official ballot the words: "Shall (name of person against whom the recall petition is filed) be recalled from the office of (.....)?" Following such question shall be the words "Yes" and "No."

If recall petitions for more than one officer have been certified as sufficient to be placed on the ballot, the officers shall be listed in alphabetical order on the ballot. On such ballot, under the question or questions, there shall be printed, in alphabetical order, the names of those persons who have been nominated as candidates to succeed the person or persons sought to be recalled. Any qualified elector desiring to become a candidate at the recall election shall do so by petition, as required by Sections 3.1 and 5.1 of the Westminster Charter, which petition if presented to the City Clerk shall entitle the petitioner to have his or her name placed on the ballot. The name of the person sought to be recalled shall not appear on the ballot as a candidate for the office. If the majority of those voting on said question of the recall of any incumbent from office shall vote "NO," said incumbent shall continue in said office; if a majority shall vote "YES," such incumbent shall thereupon be deemed removed from such office upon the qualification of his or her successor.

(G) Write-in Candidate Affidavit. In a recall election, no write-in vote for any elective officer shall be counted unless an affidavit of intent has been filed with the City Clerk by the person whose name is written in indicating that such person desires the office and is qualified and eligible to assume the duties of that office if elected. Such affidavit of intent shall be filed by the close of business on the date set for the filing of nominating petitions for the recall election.

(H) Vacancy. If a vacancy occurs in said office after a recall election has been ordered, the election to fill the vacancy shall nevertheless proceed as in this Section provided.

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(I) Notice. At least ten (10) days before a recall election, the City Clerk shall publish notice in at least one newspaper having general circulation in the municipality, stating the day of the election, the hours during which the polls will be open unless it is a mail ballot election, naming the officer whose recall is to be voted upon, and listing the names of those candidates in alphabetical order nominated to succeed the person sought to be recalled. Additionally, a copy of such notice shall be posted until after the election in a conspicuous place in the office of the City Clerk.

(J) Effect of Recall. No person who has been recalled or has resigned while recall proceedings were pending against him or her shall serve the City in any capacity within two (2) years after such removal or resignation.

7-1-11: SPECIAL ELECTIONS: (297 1748 2780 3372)

(A) Special elections shall be held when called by resolution of the Council at least forty (40) days in advance of such election, or when required by this Code, the Charter, or applicable statute. Any resolution calling a special election shall set forth the purpose of such election.

(B) The conduct of special elections shall be as nearly as practicable the same as for general elections.

7-1-12: PENALTIES FOR ELECTION OFFENSES: (1748 2780 3228 3372) In addition to any penalties established for violation of this Code, it is the intention of the City Council to authorize the district attorneys of Adams and/or Jefferson County and the attorney general to prosecute violations of any election offenses occurring within the City as provided for in Part 15 of Article 10 of Title 31, C.R.S., regarding Election Offenses. The penalties for violation of these offenses shall be as established, from time to time, by the Colorado General Assembly.

7-1-13: FAIR CAMPAIGN PRACTICES ACT: (3372) All relevant provisions of the Fair Campaign Practices Act, found at Article 45 of Title 1, C.R.S., as amended from time to time, are herewith adopted and all candidates and committees in support of or in opposition to any municipal candidates or municipal issues, shall file documents and reports required under that Act with the City Clerk.

 

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