Secretary of State sends petition initiative to the ballot
December 2, 2005
DENVER – Secretary of State Gigi Dennis certified the first initiative for next year’s ballot on Friday, a measure that would ease restrictions on petitions for ballot measures in Colorado.Dennis said petition supporters turned in 121,317 signatures. State law requires 67,829 valid signatures to qualify for next year’s ballot.Dennis Polhill, a sponsor, said the measure would condense thousands of pages of conflicting statutes, charters, court opinions and regulations, allow petitions to all local governments, reduce lawsuits and protect petitioners from government campaigns against them using public funds.”It’s not easing the restraints, it’s returning the rules to how they are defined in the Constitution,” Polhill said.Lawmakers have opposed making the process easier, worried that changes to the state Constitution become difficult if problems are found with citizen initiatives.Polhill said he expected opposition from politicians and lobbyists.”They put these barriers up to trip us up on technicalities. A lot of folks have been frozen out of the process,” he said.