Judge: Law on CO ballot measures unconstitutional
April 1, 2013
DENVER (AP) – A federal court says a Colorado law requiring that only state residents be allowed to circulate ballot petitions is a violation of the First Amendment.
The ruling issued Friday in U.S. District Court in Denver means a 2010 injunction that had prevented the 2009 law from being enforced will remain in place. That law would also have required signature gatherers to be paid by the hour, not by the signature.
Plaintiffs who sued the state argued that the hourly payment requirement would incentivize signature gatherers to slack off. The plaintiffs included organizers for the campaign to legalize marijuana in Colorado and the libertarian Independence Institute.
Attorney David Lane, who represented the groups, says he expects the state to appeal. A state official didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.