Colorado Ballot Initiative Law Confuses and Contradicts

There is a critical ballot initiative petition being circulated for signatures in Colorado.  It’s the “Right to Health Care Choice” written by Jon Caldara.  If successfully placed on the November ballot, Colorado voters will have the unique opportunity to push back against ObamaCare’s unprecedented and burdensome individual insurance mandate.  To secure its place on the November ballot, 120,000 signatures (of which 76,407 valid signatures are required) must be collected by Colorado registered voters and submitted to the state by July 12, 2010…. or, is it August 2, 2010? 

Hmmm.  There seems to be some confusion in the Colorado law regarding the actual deadline for submitting ballot initiative petition signatures.   Leslie Graves outlines this contradiction well in her Ballot Pedia article “Uncertainty Clouds Colorado’s 2010 Signature Deadline.”  

The Colorado Constitution states that signatures must be submitted at least three months before the election.  That puts the deadline at August 2, 2010. 

The Colorado State Legislature House Bill 1326 (2009) states that signatures must be submitted no later than three months AND three weeks before the election.  That puts the deadline at July 12, 2010. 

Jon Caldara has received a letter from the Secretary of State stating that the submission deadline is August 2, essentially supporting the Constitutional requirement. But, as Graves points out in her article, the contradiction between the Constitution, HB 1326, and the Secretary of State’s letter could seriously complicate the outcome of this initiative. 

The fact that such a critical deadline is ambiguous or in question is unacceptable.  Read more about HB 1326 and determine if the bill’s sponsors had your best interests in mind.  And yes, the sponsors of the bill are listed.  Take note and take elective action to prevent this type of no-citizen-can-win nonsense from becoming contradictory law ever again. 

If the contradiction and confusion in the initiative process prevents Colorado citizens from putting the “Right to Health Care Choice” initiative on the November ballot, or if it in any way delegitimizes the signatures collected, then freedom will have been dealt another huge slam.

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