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colorado > Colorado Electoral Code > Initiative And Referendum

1-40-111. Signatures – affidavits – notarization – list of circulators and notaries

Statute

(1) Any initiative or referendum petition shall be signed only by registered electors who are eligible to vote on the measure. Each registered elector shall sign his or her own signature and shall print his or her name, the address at which he or she resides, including the street number and name, the city and town, the county, and the date of signing. Each registered elector signing a petition shall be encouraged by the circulator of the petition to sign the petition in ink. In the event a registered elector is physically disabled or is illiterate and wishes to sign the petition, the elector shall sign or make his or her mark in the space so provided. Any person, but not a circulator, may assist the disabled or illiterate elector in completing the remaining information required by this subsection (1). The person providing assistance shall sign his or her name and address and shall state that such assistance was given to the disabled or illiterate elector.

(2) (a) To each petition section shall be attached a signed, notarized, and dated affidavit executed by the person who circulated the petition section, which shall include his or her printed name, the address at which he or she resides, including the street name and number, the city or town, the county, and the date he or she signed the affidavit; that he or she has read and understands the laws governing the circulation of petitions; that he or she was a resident of the state, a citizen of the United States, and at least eighteen years of age at the time the section of the petition was circulated and signed by the listed electors; that he or she circulated the section of the petition; that each signature thereon was affixed in the circulator’s presence; that each signature thereon is the signature of the person whose name it purports to be; that to the best of the circulator’s knowledge and belief each of the persons signing the petition section was, at the time of signing, a registered elector; that he or she has not paid or will not in the future pay and that he or she believes that no other person has paid or will pay, directly or indirectly, any money or other thing of value to any signer for the purpose of inducing or causing such signer to affix his or her signature to the petition; that he or she understands that he or she can be prosecuted for violating the laws governing the circulation of petitions, including the requirement that a circulator truthfully completed the affidavit and that each signature thereon was affixed in the circulator’s presence; and that he or she understands that failing to make himself or herself available to be deposed and to provide testimony in the event of a protest shall invalidate the petition section if it is challenged on the grounds of circulator fraud.

(b) (I) A notary public shall not notarize an affidavit required pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection (2), unless:

(A) The circulator is in the physical presence of the notary public;

(B) The circulator has dated the affidavit and fully and accurately completed all of the personal information on the affidavit required pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection (2); and

(C) The circulator presents a form of identification, as such term is defined in section 1-1-104 (19.5). A notary public shall specify the form of identification presented to him or her on a blank line, which shall be part of the affidavit form.

(II) An affidavit that is notarized in violation of any provision of subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (b) shall be invalid.

(III) If the date signed by a circulator on an affidavit required pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection (2) is different from the date signed by the notary public, the affidavit shall be invalid. If, notwithstanding sub-subparagraph (B) of subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (b), a notary public notarizes an affidavit that has not been dated by the circulator, the notarization date shall not cure the circulator’s failure to sign the affidavit and the affidavit shall be invalid.

(c) The secretary of state shall reject any section of a petition that does not have attached thereto a valid notarized affidavit that complies with all of the requirements set forth in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection (2). Any signature added to a section of a petition after the affidavit has been executed shall be invalid.

(3) (a) As part of any court proceeding or hearing conducted by the secretary of state related to a protest of all or part of a petition section, the circulator of such petition section shall be required to make himself or herself available to be deposed and to testify in person, by telephone, or by any other means permitted under the Colorado rules of civil procedure. Except as set forth in paragraph (b) of this subsection (3), the petition section that is the subject of the protest shall be invalid if a circulator fails to comply with the requirement set forth in this paragraph (a) for any protest that includes an allegation of circulator fraud that is pled with particularity regarding:

(I) Forgery of a registered elector’s signature;

(II) Circulation of a petition section, in whole or part, by anyone other than the person who signs the affidavit attached to the petition section;

(III) Use of a false circulator name or address in the affidavit; or

(IV) Payment of money or other things of value to any person for the purpose of inducing the person to sign the petition.

(b) Upon the finding by a district court or the secretary of state that the circulator of a petition section is unable to be deposed or to testify at trial or a hearing conducted by the secretary of state because the circulator has died, become mentally incompetent, or become medically incapacitated and physically unable to testify by any means whatsoever, the provisions of paragraph (a) of this subsection (3) shall not apply to invalidate a petition section circulated by the circulator.

(4) The proponents of a petition or an issue committee acting on the proponents’ behalf shall maintain a list of the names and addresses of all circulators who circulated petition sections on behalf of the proponents and notaries public who notarized petition sections on behalf of the proponents and the petition section numbers that each circulator circulated and that each notary public notarized. A copy of the list shall be filed with the secretary of state along with the petition. If a copy of the list is not filed, the secretary of state shall prepare the list and charge the proponents a fee, which shall be determined and collected pursuant to section 24-21-104 (3), C.R.S., to cover the cost of the preparation. Once filed or prepared by the secretary of state, the list shall be a public record for purposes of article 72 of title 24, C.R.S.

 

 

Source: L. 93: Entire article amended with relocations, p. 683, § 1, effective May 4; (2)(a) amended, p. 2049, § 1, effective July 1.L. 95: (2) amended, p. 433, § 9, effective May 8.L. 2007: (2) amended, p. 1982, § 34, effective August 3.L. 2009: (2) amended and (3) and (4) added, (HB 09-1326), ch. 258, p. 1172, § 9, effective May 15.

 

Editor’s note: This section is similar to former § 1-40-106 as it existed prior to 1993, and the former § 1-40-111 was relocated to § 1-40-101.
 
ANNOTATION
 
I. General Consideration.
II. Constitutional Construction.
III. Required Data.
IV. Signatures.
V. Circulators.
 
I.GENERAL CONSIDERATION.

Law reviews. For comment, “Buckley v. American Constitutional Law Foundation, Inc.: The Struggle to Establish a Consistent Standard of Review in Ballot Access Cases Continues”, see 77 Den. U. L. Rev. 197 (1999).

Annotator’s note. The following annotations include cases decided under former provisions similar to this section.

Section 1-40-106 (2) (now this section) prohibited the court from validating the signatures collected for an initiative when its title and submission clause were found to be misleading. Matter of the Proposed Initiated Constitutional Amendment Concerning Limited Gaming in the City of Antonito, 873 P.2d 733 (Colo. 1994).
 
II.CONSTITUTIONAL CONSTRUCTION.

Section 1-40-106 must be construed so as to allow qualified electors of the ages of eighteen through twenty to participate in the initiative process. Colo. Project-Common Cause v. Anderson, 178 Colo. 1, 495 P.2d 220 (1972).

Liberal construction must be given to statutes implementing initiative provisions of constitution. Billings v. Buchanan, 192 Colo. 32, 555 P.2d 176 (1976).
 
III.REQUIRED DATA.

The purpose of the required data is that those interested in protesting may be apprised of that which will enable them conveniently to check the petition. Haraway v. Armstrong, 95 Colo. 398, 36 P.2d 456 (1934).

And therefore, the careful entry of the residence (not mere post-office address) of each person with each name should be made at the time of the signing, and should show, in all cities and towns where there are street numbers, the street number of the residence of the signer. Elkins v. Milliken, 80 Colo. 135, 249 P. 655 (1926).

This is a very important provision. Elkins v. Milliken, 80 Colo. 135, 249 P. 655 (1926).

And it is the most efficient provision against fraud in this section. Elkins v. Milliken, 80 Colo. 135, 249 P. 655 (1926).

Also it is essential to an intelligent protest and should always be carefully obeyed. Elkins v. Milliken, 80 Colo. 135, 249 P. 655 (1926).

And the entry of the date of the signature is only less important. Elkins v. Milliken, 80 Colo. 135, 249 P. 655 (1926).

But both residence and date of the signature are mandatory by the provisions of § 1 of art. V, Colo. Const. Elkins v. Milliken, 80 Colo. 135, 249 P. 655 (1926).

Therefore, signatures to a petition, where the signer’s residence can be identified by street and number, should be rejected if these are lacking. Miller v. Armstrong, 84 Colo. 416, 270 P. 877 (1928).

But the residence and date of signing may be added by a person other than the petitioner. Haraway v. Armstrong, 95 Colo. 398, 36 P.2d 456 (1934).

Because neither the constitution nor this section specifically requires the signer to add his address and date of signing. Haraway v. Armstrong, 95 Colo. 398, 36 P.2d 456 (1934).

Such additions, although preferably done by the petitioner, may be done by another. Haraway v. Armstrong, 95 Colo. 398, 36 P.2d 456 (1934).

And failure of signers to insert residences is not ground for rejection. There is nothing in the constitution, statutes, or decisions justifying the rejection of signatures solely by reasons of the failure of signers, under the circumstances prevailing, to insert in the petition streets and numbers of their residences. Case v. Morrison, 118 Colo. 517, 197 P.2d 621 (1948).

And also omission of year from date petition signed was held immaterial. In considering the sufficiency of a petition, the fact that the year is omitted from the date upon which a signer affixed his signature to the petition is immaterial, where the document as a whole conclusively establishes the year in which the petition was signed. Haraway v. Armstrong, 95 Colo. 398, 36 P.2d 456 (1934), distinguishing Miller v. Armstrong, 84 Colo. 416, 270 P. 877 (1928).

Moreover, until filed with the secretary of state, a petition for the initiation of a law is in no sense a public document, and may be checked and corrected by the sponsors before filing. Haraway v. Armstrong, 95 Colo. 398, 36 P.2d 456 (1934).

Computation of residency applicable for municipal referendum. Computation of residency by looking to the date of signature and then to the date of the prospective election to determine whether the durational requirement is satisfied is applicable to a municipal referendum residency requirement. Francis v. Rogers, 182 Colo. 430, 514 P.2d 311 (1973).
 
IV. SIGNATURES.

Where two or more signatures on a petition are in the same handwriting, all such must be rejected. Miller v. Armstrong, 84 Colo. 416, 270 P. 877 (1928).

So also where sections of a petition have been tampered with after the signatures have been affixed thereto, they must be rejected. Miller v. Armstrong, 84 Colo. 416, 270 P. 877 (1928).

Newspaper pages cut and reassembled for inclusion in petition. Where newspaper pages, on which were printed petition forms in three parts which were used to secure signatures in support of a petition to place a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot, were cut into the separate parts and then reassembled and bound together for inclusion in the petition presented to the secretary of state, this procedure did not invalidate the signatures since there was no showing or intimation that the separation of the forms involved any alteration, irregularity, or fraud. Billings v. Buchanan, 192 Colo. 32, 555 P.2d 176 (1976).
 
V. CIRCULATORS.

Since there was little in the record to support plaintiffs’ claim that the affidavit requirement in subsection (2) significantly burdens political expression by decreasing the pool of available circulators, exacting scrutiny is not required. Am. Constitutional Law Found., Inc. v. Meyer, 120 F.3d 1092 (10th Cir. 1997), aff’d on other grounds, 525 U.S. 182, 119 S. Ct. 636, 142 L. Ed. 2d 599 (1999).

Given the responsibility circulators bear in ensuring the integrity of elections involving ballot issues, and given the fact that the affidavit requirement is a reasonable, nondiscriminatory restriction, subsection (2) is not unduly burdensome and unconstitutionally vague. Am. Constitutional Law Found., Inc. v. Meyer, 120 F.3d 1092 (10th Cir. 1997), aff’d on other grounds, 525 U.S. 182, 119 S. Ct. 636, 142 L. Ed. 2d 599 (1999).

The requirements of this section are justified by the state’s compelling need for the names and addresses of the circulators and the requirement is sufficiently narrowly drawn to be constitutional. The affidavit requirement has the primary purpose of providing the opportunity for an adequate hearing on the sufficiency of the signatures for the petition for other matters relevant to placing the measure on the ballot. There is a compelling necessity to be able to summon circulators to provide testimony at a hearing on challenges to the validity of the signatures and for other matters relevant to the petitioning process. Am. Constitutional Law Found., Inc. v. Meyer, 870 F. Supp. 995 (D. Colo. 1994), aff’d on other grounds, 120 F.3d 1092 (10th Cir. 1997), aff’d on other grounds, 525 U.S. 182, 119 S. Ct. 636, 142 L. Ed. 2d 599 (1999).

Subsection (2)(b)(I)(C) does not severely burden first amendment rights. Because subsection (2)(b)(I)(C) does not contain a residency requirement, it does not restrict non-resident circulators from signature-gathering activities. Independence Inst. v. Gessler, 869 F. Supp. 2d 1289 (D. Colo. 2012).

“Read and understand” requirement is a formal requirement to which the court will not apply strict scrutiny in a constitutional challenge: Although requirements limit the power of initiative, the limitation is not substantive. Loonan v. Woodley, 882 P.2d 1380 (Colo. 1994).

“Read and understand” requirement enhances the integrity of the election process and does not unconstitutionally infringe on the right to petition. Loonan v. Woodley, 882 P.2d 1380 (Colo. 1994).

“Read and understand” requirement is not unconstitutionally vague. Loonan v. Woodley, 882 P.2d 1380 (Colo. 1994).

Subsection (2) is sufficiently definite because it explicitly endorses the lay circulator’s own interpretation of “understanding”, and does not invest law enforcement officers with sweeping, unrestrained discretion. Am. Constitutional Law Found., Inc. v. Meyer, 120 F.3d 1092 (10th Cir. 1997), aff’d on other grounds, 525 U.S. 182, 119 S. Ct. 636, 142 L. Ed. 2d 599 (1999).

The requirement in subsections (2)(a) and (3)(a) that circulators make themselves available in the event of a protest does not burden first amendment rights. The state has a strong interest in maintaining the integrity of the petition process. Independence Inst. v. Gessler, 869 F. Supp. 2d 1289 (D. Colo. 2012).

Omission of required affidavit language demonstrated that circulators of the petition did not read and understand the statute as required by this section. Loonan v. Woodley, 882 P.2d 1380 (Colo. 1994).

The circulator of a petition for the initiation of a measure can make a positive affidavit that a signature thereon is genuine by reason of its having been written in his presence or through his familiarity with the signer’s handwriting, the pertinent law requiring only that the affidavit state that each signature is the signature of the person whose name it purports to be. Brownlow v. Wunch, 103 Colo. 120, 83 P.2d 775 (1938).

But this section makes it a felony for one person to sign for another. Miller v. Armstrong, 84 Colo. 416, 270 P. 877 (1928).

And a circulator who makes oath to the genuineness of such signatures, if done with knowledge, is guilty of perjury. Miller v. Armstrong, 84 Colo. 416, 270 P. 877 (1928).

Since “purport” means to have the appearance or convey the impression of being. Brownlow v. Wunch, 103 Colo. 120, 83 P.2d 775 (1938).

And in a proceeding to determine the sufficiency of a petition, the contention that portions of the petition, although not vulnerable otherwise, should be discarded because circulators, as shown by other sections, had so deported themselves that they were unworthy of belief, overruled. Haraway v. Armstrong, 95 Colo. 398, 36 P.2d 456 (1934).

Substantial compliance is the standard the court must apply in assessing the effect of the deficiencies that caused the district court to hold petition signatures invalid. Fabec v. Beck, 922 P.2d 330 (Colo. 1996).

Discrepancies in the day or month of the circulator’s date of signing and the date of notary acknowledgment render the relevant petitions invalid absent evidence that explains the differences in question. Petitions containing such discrepancies do not provide the necessary safeguards against abuse and fraud in the initiative process. Fabec v. Beck, 922 P.2d 330 (Colo. 1996).

Absent evidence that the change in signing was the product of the signing party, changes to a circulator’s signing date do not represent substantial compliance with subsection (2) and serve to invalidate the signatures within the affected petitions. The district court properly held invalid signatures that were tainted by a change in the circulator’s date of signing, where the date of signing was not accompanied by the initials of the circulator or other evidence in the record establishing that the circulator made the change. Fabec v. Beck, 922 P.2d 330 (Colo. 1996).

The district court erred in invalidating petitions that did not contain a notary seal. The purpose of the notarized affidavit provision in subsection (2) was substantially achieved despite the proponents’ failure to secure a notary seal on petitions affecting 92 signatures. The record contains evidence that the affidavits with omitted seals were notarized by individuals with the same signature and commission expiration found on other affidavits with proper seals. Fabec v. Beck, 922 P.2d 330 (Colo. 1996).

The initiative proponents substantially complied with the requirements for a circulator’s affidavit even though the circulator did not include a date of signing. When the circulator simply omits the date of signing, there is no reason to believe that the affidavit was not both subscribed and sworn to before the notary public on the date indicated in the jurat. Fabec v. Beck, 922 P.2d 330 (Colo. 1996).
Definition [Circulated]

Presented to an elector for the collection of a signature and other information required by this article. C.R.S. § 1-12-100.5.

Definition [Circulator]

A person who presents to other persons for possible signature a petition for recall as described in this article. C.R.S. § 1-12-100.5.

Definition [United States]

Used in the territorial sense, means the several states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, and any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. C.R.S. § 1-8.3-102.

Definition [Issue committee]

Any person, other than a natural person, or any group of two or more persons, including natural persons:

(I) That has a major purpose of supporting or opposing any ballot issue or ballot question; or

(II) That has accepted or made contributions or expenditures in excess of two hundred dollars to support or oppose any ballot issue or ballot question.

(b) “Issue committee” does not include political parties, political committees, small donor committees, or candidate committees as otherwise defined in this section.

(c) An issue committee shall be considered open and active until affirmatively closed by such committee or by action of the appropriate authority.

Section 2(10) of article XXVIII of the state constitution.

 

(b) For purposes of section 2 (10) (a) (I) of article XXVIII of the state constitution, “major purpose” means support of or opposition to a ballot issue or ballot question that is reflected by:

(I) An organization’s specifically identified objectives in its organizational documents at the time it is established or as such documents are later amended; or

(II) An organization’s demonstrated pattern of conduct based upon its:

(A) Annual expenditures in support of or opposition to a ballot issue or ballot question; or

(B) Production or funding, or both, of written or broadcast communications, or both, in support of or opposition to a ballot issue or ballot question.

(c) The provisions of paragraph (b) of this subsection (12) are intended to clarify, based on the decision of the Colorado court of appeals in Independence Institute v. Coffman, 209 P.3d 1130 (Colo. App. 2008), cert. denied, — U.S. —, 130 S. Ct. 165, 175 L. Ed. 479 (2009), section 2 (10) (a) (I) of article XXVIII of the state constitution and not to make a substantive change to said section 2 (10) (a) (I).

C.R.S. § 1-45-103.

Definition [State]

A state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. C.R.S. § 1-8.3-102.

Definition [Ballot]

(a) A federal write-in absentee ballot;

(b) A ballot specifically prepared or distributed for use by a covered voter in accordance with this article; or

(c) A ballot cast by a covered voter in accordance with this article.

(2) “Covered voter” means:

(a) A uniformed-service voter defined in paragraph (a) of subsection (9) of this section who is a resident of this state but who is absent from this state by reason of active duty and who otherwise satisfies this state’s voter eligibility requirements;

(b) An overseas voter who, before leaving the United States, was last eligible to vote in this state and, except for a state residency requirement, otherwise satisfies this state’s voter eligibility requirements;

(c) An overseas voter who, before leaving the United States, would have been last eligible to vote in this state had the voter then been of voting age and, except for a state residency requirement, otherwise satisfies this state’s voter eligibility requirements; or

(d) An overseas voter who was born outside the United States, is not described in paragraph (b) or (c) of this subsection (2), and, except for a state residency requirement, otherwise satisfies this state’s voter eligibility requirements if the last place where a parent, legal guardian, spouse, or civil union partner of the voter was, or under this article would have been, eligible to vote before leaving the United States is within this state.

C.R.S. § 1-8.3-102.

Definition [Person]

Any natural person, partnership, committee, association, corporation, labor organization, political party, or other organization or group of persons. Section 2(11) of article XXVIII of the state constitution.

Definition [Election]

Any election under the “Uniform Election Code of 1992” or the “Colorado Municipal Election Code of 1965”, article 10 of title 31, C.R.S. C.R.S. § 1-7.5-103.

Definition [Secretary]

The Colorado secretary of state. C.R.S. § 1-1.5-102.

Definition [Committee]

The committee of signers described in section 1-12-108(2). C.R.S. § 1-12-100.5.

Cases

colorado Cases

Case Name: Matter of the Proposed Initiated Constitutional Amendment Concerning Limited Gaming in the City of Antonito

Citation: 873 P.2d 733 (Colo. 1994)

Year: 1994

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/a2a850be11d4024615318fc48f2d9e7d

Case Summary: Holding that signatures collected for an initiative during pendency of appeal were not valid when order in which material was presented in title, submission, and summary was misleading as to the scope of the initiative.

Case Name: Colo. Project-Common Cause v. Anderson

Citation: 495 P.2d 220 (Colo. 1972)

Year: 1972

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/a0035530cba6cbcc3ec6d30b1195abcf

Case Summary: Holding that statute specifying qualifications for persons signing initiative petition and prohibiting qualified electors of ages 18 through 20 from the initiative process must be construed to allow participation in the initiative process by qualified electors of the ages 18 through 20, who are qualified to vote under the 26th Amendment.

Case Name: Billings v. Buchanan

Citation: 555 P.2d 176 (Colo. 1976)

Year: 1976

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/72e09f8c466596cf27bb2ba94dce8687

Case Summary: Holding that statutory procedures for protesting an initiative petition were sufficient to protect the public from fraud and abuse of the election process and that statutory provisions implementing the initiative and referendum right of the people were to be liberally construed to allow issues on the ballot.

Case Name: Elkins v. Milliken

Citation: 249 P. 655 (Colo. 1926)

Year: 1926

Case URL: https://perma.cc/WW7L-5M28

Case Summary: Holding that petition was invalid when it did not contain an address, including street numbers of residences, for every individual signing the petition.

Case Name: Miller v. Armstrong

Citation: 270 P. 877 (Colo. 1928)

Year: 1928

Case URL: https://perma.cc/28KX-RD3T

Case Summary: Holding that there were 100 sections of the petition with false affidavits; in several cases, two names were written by one hand, and there were several hundred cases in which one person had signed for another; these constituted felonies; and petition was therefore circulated with reckless disregard of the law.

Case Name: Case v. Morrison

Citation: 197 P.2d 621 (Colo. 1948)

Year: 1948

Case URL: https://casetext.com/case/case-v-morrison

Case Summary: Holding that trial court erred in striking those signing with their husband's names or initials from the petition; signatures without addresses were improperly stricken, because some towns in which the signers lived had no named streets or house numbers; and signature followed by town name of  was sufficient in these instances.

Case Name: Francis v. Rogers

Citation: 514 P.2d 311 (Colo. 1973)

Year: 1973

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/bda907b6be1de2562c213fe5e3985394

Case Summary: Holding that registration was "not a qualification but a mechanical adjunct" to the elective process that allowed officials to determine that the prospective voter was qualified to vote that that it could not be argued that an ordinance's failure to require that signers be registered voters had any effect on petitions' validity.

Case Name: Loonan v. Woodley

Citation: 882 P.2d 1380 (Colo. 1994)

Year: 1994

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/761d63d9e8f9fe0c2a9f2ce64c2cfa89

Case Summary: Holding that substantial compliance was the appropriate standard for determining whether petitions conformed with statutory requirements; circulators' affidavits which were missing statement that they had read and understood laws governing petition circulation did not substantially comply with statute; and read-and-understand requirement did not unconstitutionally infringe on the constitutional right to petition.

Case Name: Brownlow v. Wunsch

Citation: 103 Colo. 120, 83 P.2d 775 (1938)

Year: 1938

Case URL: https://perma.cc/M4QQ-2T6L

Case Summary:

  1. Colo. Stat. Ann. ch. 86, § 6 (1935), states that, in case an initiative petition be declared insufficient in form or number of signatures of qualified electors, it may be withdrawn by a majority in number of the persons representing the signers of such petition, and may, within 15 days thereafter, be amended or additional names signed thereto as in the first instance, and refiled as an original petition. The amended petition here was timely refiled under § 6. The six-month limitation for the original petition did not apply.
  2. § 6 and Colo. Const. art. V, § 1 intended that the identity of the affiant as being a qualified elector might be established prima facie by a recital to that effect in the affidavit. It is certain under the express words of the Constitution that a petition so verified shall be prima facie evidence that the signatures thereon are genuine and the persons signing the same are electors.
  3. To the extent that the fraud charged in a protest of an initiative petition is premised on advertisement for circulators and the latter being paid for names procured, it is sufficient to say that this practice is not prohibited by either the Constitution or statutes.

Case Name: Fabec v. Beck

Citation: 922 P.2d 330 (Colo. 1996)

Year: 1996

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/c5be6ab4bb2b1b003a8eb6c361f9ef05

Case Summary: Holding that no administrative review of Secretary's determination concerning sufficiency of signatures is required before protestor can seek judicial relief; it was proper for Secretary to combine valid signatures determined by line-by-line examination of both the original petition and the addendum rather using a random sampling method; substantial compliance is standard applied in assessing effect of signature deficiencies; discrepancies in circulator's date of signing and date of notary acknowledgement made affected petitions invalid; petition that contained altered date next to circulator's signature was invalid; changes to circulator's signing date did not constitute substantial compliance; there was substantial compliance with notarized affidavit requirement; and there was substantial compliance with signature requirements despite omission of signing date from one circulator affidavit.

Out-of-State Cases

Federal Cases

Case Name: Am. Constitutional Law Found., Inc. v. Meyer

Citation: 870 F. Supp. 995 (D. Colo. 1994)

Federal District Court: District of Colorado

Year: 1994

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/dc23c68714a93aa29fe2d6a464b267bb

Case Summary: Holding that requirement that petitions be circulated within a six-month period was not an undue restriction and was therefore legitimate.

Case Name: Am. Constitutional Law Found., Inc. v. Meyer

Citation: 120 F.3d 1092 (10th Cir. 1997)

Federal Circuit Court: 10th Circuit Court

Year: 1997

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/3d3d9c8280768fc2c2d6774c4dc5632d

Case Summary: Holding that state statute requiring petition circulators to be registered electors unconstitutionally impinged on free expression; statute's requirement that circulators wear personal identification badges unconstitutionally infringed their First Amendment rights; and provisions of statute requiring disclosure of information regarding paid circulators violated First Amendment.

Case Name: Independence Inst. v. Gessler

Citation: 936 F. Supp. 2d 1256 (D. Colo. 2013)

Federal District Court: District of Colorado

Year: 2013

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/cf5866f65ed81a5a06832ea7a9926661

Case Summary: Holding that Colorado statute limiting the per signature compensation for circulators of ballot initiative petitions was subject to strict scrutiny and violated the First Amendment.

Case Name: Independence Inst. v. Gessler

Citation: 869 F. Supp. 2d 1289 (D. Colo. 2012)

Federal District Court: District of Colorado

Year: 2012

Case URL: https://perma.cc/TP4X-TFNQ

Case Summary: Holding that Colorado statute stating that “[n]o person shall circulate” petitions within state “unless the person is a resident of the state” barred non-residents from circulating petitions; state election rule allowing temporary non-residents to circulate petitions was not entitled to deference; statute's call-back provisions for petition circulators did not violate First Amendment; and state's significant interest in ensuring that petition entities were knowledgeable about Colorado law justified statute requiring petition entity training.

Regulations & Guidance