Jonathan Lockwood
Lawsuit Filed Challenging Initiative 22 Signatures
DENVER (October 2, 2013) —Today, a lawsuit was filed in Denver District Court asserting that Initiative 22 contains over 39,555 invalid signatures.    

The Initiative 22 campaign paid an out-of state signature gathering firm over $1 million to collect enough valid signatures to place the initiative on the November 2013 statewide ballot.  The integrity of this signature gathering process was called into question after the Colorado Secretary of State invalidated 75,890 signatures, which represents 46% of the total number of signatures gathered.

A more thorough review of the signature gathering effort has revealed additional problems:

§  Circulator Verified Own ID (3,130 Affidavits; 39,167 Signatures): Colorado law requires a notary to complete a section of the circulator affidavit verifying the type of valid ID presented by the circulator. This requirement is critical to verify the circulator accurately completed the affidavit and is qualified to circulate the petition.  Initiative 22 contains 3,130 affidavits in which the notary did not complete this section. In each case, the circulator verified his or her own ID in direct violation of state statute. Nullifying these affidavits in accordance would invalidate 39,167 signatures.

§  Circulator Did Not Include Permanent Address (111 Affidavits; 1,350 Signatures): Colorado law requires a circulator to provide a permanent address on each affidavit form. This provision ensures the circulators can be contacted regarding their activities and prevents fraud and abuse. Initiative 22 contains 111 affidavits in which the affidavit does not include a permanent address for circulators.  Nullifying these affidavits in accordance with state law would invalidate 1,350 signatures.

§  Circulator Did Not Present Valid ID (57 Affidavits; 746 Signatures):  Colorado law requires petition circulators to present valid form of identification.  This provision prevents fraud and abuse.  Initiative 22 contains 57 affidavits in which the circulator did not provide a valid form of ID. Nullifying these affidavits in accordance with state law would invalidate 746 signatures.

In response to illegal activity and unethical practices by out-of-state paid petition gatherers, the Colorado General Assembly recently passed a series of laws to prevent this very type of fraud and abuse.  By previously invalidating over 75,000 signatures, the Secretary of State already highlighted the serious compliance issues with Initiative 22’s signature gathering process.    

Initiative 22 has only 3,715 signatures (less than 2.5% of the total numbered gathered) above the minimum threshold to place it on the 2013 statewide ballot.  The lawsuit demonstrates that a total of 39,555 signatures are invalid.  A hearing date has not been set.

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