Thursday, March 4, 2010

Personhood amendment keeps on gasping

Posted By on Thu, Mar 4, 2010 at 1:00 PM

Update: It looks like the Personhood Colorado release is actually mistaken about the number of signatures they will need to make the ballot. A release from the secretary of state's office, also posted below, makes it clear that they are actually 15,690 signatures in the hole, meaning they will have to collect many more than that to safely make it over the threshold.

The folks who want Colorado residents to take a fresh look at their proposed "personhood amendment" in this year's election were just dealt a setback by the secretary of state's office: The measure doesn't have enough signatures to appear on the 2010 ballot.

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But the effort is not dead yet. Backers of the proposed amendment, which is nearly identical to the anti-abortion measure that 73 percent of Colorado voters opposed in 2008, now have 15 days to make up a deficit of more than 12,000 valid signatures.

Personhood Colorado reports turning in 79,648 signatures on Feb. 12, which left a slim cushion for invalid signatures since they need 76,047 to make the ballot. The secretary state's sampling of the petitions invalidated more than 15,000, so the group announced today a goal of collecting 1,000 signatures a day to regain the lost ground. (Their release is below the fold.)

Will they succeed? I guess it will be a few more weeks before we know for sure.

Secretary of state:

Initiative 25 deemed insufficient
Final ballot initiative fails to reach required number of valid signatures
Denver, Colorado — Today Secretary of State Bernie Buescher announced that the
proposed ballot measure concerning “Definition of Person” was found to be insufficient
as required by statute. Petitions were submitted to the Secretary of State’s office on
February 12.
Secretary of State staff immediately began verifying a random sample of the signatures.
This five-percent sample is selected by computer. The results are as follows:
Random Sample Summary:
• Total number of qualified signatures submitted: 79,648
• 5% of qualified signatures submitted (random sample): 4,000
• Total number of entries accepted (valid) from random sample: 3,031
• Total number of entries rejected (invalid) from random sample: 969
• Number of projected valid signatures from random sample: 60,357
• Total number of accepted entries necessary for placement on ballot: 76,047
• Percentage of presumed valid signatures: 79.37%
After review of the submitted petition sections as provided in section 1-40-116, C.R.S.,
Buescher declared that an insufficient number of valid signatures have been submitted.
The Secretary of State’s office has notified the proponents the petition failed to qualify for
the 2010 ballot and those proponents will have another 15 days to collect additional
signatures to cure the deficiency. The proponents will have until 3:00pm Thursday, March
18 to submit additional signatures.

Personhood Colorado:

Colorado Personhood Ballot Initiative Must Replace 15,000 signatures in 15 Days
Denver, Colorado — The Colorado Secretary of State has disclosed that 15,690 of the 79,648 signatures submitted by Personhood Colorado were invalid. Beginning today, March 4, Personhood Colorado will have 15 days, per state initiative law, to replace the signatures.
Every ballot initiative campaign faces the challenge of validating signatures. Incorrect, illegible, or old addresses are typically the culprits, as petition signatures must match the recorded registered voter’s address.
“This is not unexpected news,” commented Keith Mason, co-founder of Personhood USA. “We anticipated that this 15 day curing period would be evoked, and we have been diligently preparing to get over 1,000 signatures each day of the 15 day period. It will be a challenge, but we are ready to get started.”
Personhood Colorado submitted 79,648 signatures on February 12. 76,047 valid signatures were required to put the measure on the 2010 ballot.
“On March 18, we fully expect to have 15,690 valid signatures to submit to the secretary of State’s office, ensuring that the Personhood Amendment is on the 2010 ballot,” continued Mason. “Once the amendment is on the ballot, we will see that every person is protected by love and by law.”
Personhood Colorado is required to submit 15,690 valid signatures of Colorado registered voters on March 18 by 3:00pm.

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