FAQs

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527 political organizations
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Definitions
Disclosure
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Political Parties

Q1. What is a political party?

A1.  A political party is any group of registered electors who nominate candidates for the official general election ballot.  Nominations may be by petition or assembly. 

The term "Political party" includes affiliated party organizations at the state, county, and election district levels. Affiliates are considered to be a single entity for the purposes of Article XXVIII, except with respect to disclosure requirements in section 1-45-108, C.R.S.


Q2. Do political parties have to register with your office?

A2.  State and county political parties must register with our office.

 

Q3. How do I register a political party with your office?

A3.  Before registering, make sure that you have:

  • A committee name and any acronyms that you will use.
  • A registered agent.
  • The registered agent's email address and phone number.
  • Physical and mailing addresses for the committee's principal place of business.
  • A description of your committee's purpose.  This information should be detailed, including candidates, ballot measure numbers, or policy positions that you will support or oppose.
  • Financial information, including the name of the bank where the committee has or will have an account.

To register:

  1. Go to the TRACER website.
  2. Click on the "Committee Registration" button.
  3. Select "Political Party Committee", then click on "Next >".
  4. Fill out the form.  When you are finished, click on "Submit".
  5. Print a copy of the form for your records.
  6. Click on "Finished" to complete your registration.
  7. Login information will be sent to the registered agent's email address.

If you need help using TRACER, see Learn to Use TRACER.

 

Q4. What is a registered agent?

A4.  A registered agent is the person to whom all correspondence about the committee will be addressed.  He or she is also responsible for maintaining committee records and filing reports on time.  The registered agent must be a natural person.

The registered agent acts as a treasurer, keeping track of all contributions and expenditures.

In addition to the registered agent, the committee may also appoint a designated filing agent to be responsible for the timely filing of Contribution and Expenditure reports.

 

Q5. Do we have to have a registered agent?

A5.  Yes.  All committees registered with our office must have a registered agent.

 

Q6. How do we change our registered agent?

A6.  A committee can file an amended registration in TRACER to change the registered agent. 

A registered agent can also resign. To resign, the registered agent must send a resignation letter via certified mail to the appropriate filing office (either the Secretary of State or the municipal clerk).

 

Q7. Who can file our reports?

A7.  Only the registered agent can sign and electronically file the committee’s reports.

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Q8. How do I amend our registration?

A8.  Amendments, including name and address changes, changes to the committee's purpose and changes to financial institution, can be filed online at the TRACER website.  Amendments must be reported within five days of any change.

 

Q9. What do we have to report?

A9.  For contributions of $20 or more, the name and address of the contributor must be reported.

For contributions of $100 or more, the contributor’s name, address, employer and occupation must be reported.

 

Q10. What is a Major Contribution Report?

A10.  Contributions of $1,000 or more received within 30 days before a primary or general election must be reported in TRACER as "major contributions" within 24 hours of receipt.  This requirement is in addition to reporting such contributions on regular reports. See the major contributor FAQs.

 

Q11. What kinds of contributions are not allowed?

A11.  Political parties cannot accept contributions from foreign citizens, foreign corporations, foreign governments, corporations, or labor organizations.

Political parties cannot accept contributions intended for a specific candidate.

 

Q12. Are there limits to contributions?

A12.  Yes.  Political parties can accept aggregate contributions from any person (other than a small donor committee) up to $3,400 per year at the state, county, district, and local levels combined.  The total contribution from each person per year can't exceed $3,400.

Political parties cannot accept aggregate contributions from any small donor committee that exceed $17,075 per year at the state, county, district, and local levels combined; and not more than $14,225 at the state level.

Contributions to political parties from limited liability companies (LLCs) are subject to additional restrictions and reporting requirements. See candidate committees for more information about what is required for LLC contributions.

 

Q13. How long do we keep our records?

A13.  Committees and candidates must keep their records for 180 days following any general election in which the committee or party received contributions.

If a complaint is filed, the records must remain available until the matter is resolved.

 

Q14. Are social organizations considered part of the political party that they are affiliated with for reporting purposes? 

A14.  If an organization is strictly social in nature and is not part of the party’s formal nominating process, it is not considered part of or an affiliate of the party for reporting purposes. [1]  There may be other campaign finance requirements that apply to the organization, depending on its activities.


Q15. What statutes or rules apply to political parties?

A15.  The following provisions apply to political parties:

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[1] Colorado Constitution Article XXVIII, Section 2(13)