Colorado Minor Parties,
I am contacting you to provide information on the important deadlines and paperwork for minor party candidates to obtain ballot access in 2020. You may wish to also share this email with your candidates.
Minor parties must hold their state nominating convention/assembly no later than April 18, 2020 (1-4-1304(1.5)(b)(I)). Minor parties lose the right to nominate candidates for an office if they fail to nominate a candidate for that office at the nominating convention.
If the party nominates a candidate for office but the candidate withdraws his/her candidacy, the party may name a replacement candidate by August 26, 2020 (1-4-1007). Contact our office to receive vacancy replacement candidate paperwork.
If the party has multiple candidates nominated for a single office, which then requires a primary ballot for the party, the party must notify the Secretary of State’s Office by April 16, 2020 that they do not want unaffiliated voters to participate in its party’s primary election (1-4-1304(1.5)(c). In addition, the party must have this prohibition stated in its party bylaws. If the minor party does not request that unaffiliated voters be prohibited from participating in its primary, unaffiliated voters will receive the minor party’s primary ballot upon request.
Candidate ballot access deadlines:
Candidates (or the party) must submit the certificate of designation by assembly form to our office by 4 calendar days after the assembly (nominating convention) adjourns (1-4-1304(3)). See attached form. A separate designation form must be completed for each office.
Candidates (or the party) must submit the candidate acceptance of designation form to our office by 4 business days after the assembly (nominating convention) adjourns (1-4-1304(4)). See attached acceptance forms.
Candidate campaign finance deadlines (the following deadlines and requirements do not apply to candidates running for federal office):
Candidates must submit an electronic candidate affidavit form to our office within 10 days of announcing their candidacy. Announcement of candidacy includes but is not limited to publicly announcing a run for office, accepting or spending money on your campaign, and accepting the nomination of a party. Link to candidate affidavit form: https://tracer.sos.colorado.gov/CampaignFinance/Filings/CF-1_NoticeofOrganization_SearchCand.aspx?Public=A1Z2Y7B3-7901-567W-C1PU-8V5EU9ERSI10
Candidates must submit a personal financial disclosure (PFD) statement within 10 days of filing their candidate affidavit. See attached form.
Federal and state offices up for election in 2020: https://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/elections/vote/electionOffices.html
Candidates for county office:
The above deadlines and requirements also apply to candidates for county office; however, the candidate or party should contact the appropriate county clerk to obtain the certificate of designation by assembly form and the candidate acceptance of designation form and should submit these completed forms to the county clerk not the Secretary of State’s Office. County clerk contact information: https://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/elections/Resources/CountyElectionOffices.html
I will be sending a follow-up email in May that will include information and forms that need to be completed at your national conventions for the nomination of presidential and vice-presidential candidates and presidential electors. If you would like this information earlier than May, let me know, and I can send it your way.
Lastly, it would be helpful to me if your party could provide the name, email address, and phone number of a party member who I could contact should I have any issues with candidates submitting their paperwork in a timely manner. Also, if you could provide me with the dates of your state assembly and national conventions, I would appreciate it.
Good luck in your party’s endeavors in 2020. And feel free to contact me with any candidate nomination questions.
Ballot Access Manager
Colorado State Department