Colorado Election Petition Affidavit
In Colorado, a petition circulator may ask a notary to notarize the petition affidavit on an election petition. The petition may be for a candidate, to recall an elected official, or for an initiative or referendum on a ballot issue.
Notaries must be careful when notarizing a petition affidavit, because the procedure is defined under Colorado state election laws, Title 1, or local election laws, not under the Notaries Public Act, Title 12.
We offer Colorado Springs mobile notary services to notarize petitions.
Petition for Candidate
The procedure for petitions for candidacy is defined in CRS 1-4-905. The petition circulator will gather qualified signatures, according to the election laws and procedures. When the circulator is done gathering signatures, he/she needs to sign an affidavit before a notary. The circulator statute defines the specific elements that must be included in the petition affidavit.
The notary would take the affidavit of the circulator by administering an oath or affirmation that the statements listed on the petition are true and correct. An election official may not accept for filing any petition that does not have a notarized affidavit attached.
It is not the responsibility of the notary to inspect or verify the gathered signatures on the petition. Scan the petition pages and look for any blank or crossed out signature lines. Any signature added to the petition after it has been notarized is invalid.
Ask the circulator to cross out or write NA in any blank signature lines, so that a signature may not be added later. Make a note in your notary journal of the total number of pages and signatures on the petition, and any signature lines that are crossed out or NA.
Petition for Initiative or Referendum
The affidavit procedure on a circulated petition for an initiative or referendum is defined in CRS 1-40-111(2). Notaries beware, the notary certificate for this affidavit requires the notary to specify the form of identification presented on a blank line in the affidavit form. This is not a normal notary procedure for other types of documents or affidavits.
Petition for Recall
For a recall from office, the petition requirements are defined in CRS 1-12-108. The requirements for the petition affidavit are defined in CRS 1-12-108(6)(b), petition requirements.
Be alert for any additional or different requirements for notarizing a local petition under city, municipal, county or state laws.
In Colorado Springs, the City Charter, section 12-30(b), defines the requirements for notarizing an affidavit of a petition circulator.
To each section of a petition, which section may consist of one or more sheets, shall be attached an affidavit by the Circulator,
signed under oath before a Notary Public,
stating that the Circulator is a registered elector of the City of Colorado Springs, and
that the Circulator personally circulated the paper,
the number of signatures thereon,
that all the signatures were affixed in the Circulator’s presence,
that to the best of the Circulator’s knowledge each signature appended to the paper is the genuine signature of the person whose name it purports to be,
that each signer had an opportunity before signing to read the full text of the matter proposed or sought to be reconsidered, and
that to the best of the Circulator’s knowledge each signer is an elector of the City of Colorado Springs.
Acceptable ID for Petition Circulator
The types of acceptable identification for a petition circulator are different from the normal types of identification accepted for other notarized documents. They are listed in CRS 1-1-104 (19.5)(a) acceptable forms of identification for petition circulator. If the identification provided has an address, it must be a Colorado address.
SOS Training Guide for Petition Circulators
The SOS has an online training guide for petition circulators, including a section on notarizing the petition circulator affidavit.
Recall Petition Law Update
Update: The recall petition law, sections CRS 1-12-108(6)(b) and (8)(c)(II), were changed on May 9, 2014, under Senate Bill 14-158. Changes were made to harmonize the statutes with the Colorado Constitution and to align the regulations for a recall petition with the regulations for an initiative or referendum. Section (9)(c) was deleted.
Be sure you are following the latest version of the law.
Petitions may be in several sections, each section requires a separate affidavit.
Be careful to complete the notary certificate on the affidavit correctly. The petitions will be inspected by election officials. Defective notarizations may cause petitions to be invalidated. If too many signatures are invalidated due to defective notarizations, it may disqualify a candidate or ballot issue from appearing on the ballot.