Even though Colorado has a ridiculously low threshold for constitutional ballot initiatives, it may be getting harder than people think for measures to qualify. As Rep. Jared Polis struggles to gather signatures for his fracking ban Initiatives 88 and 89, insiders are buzzing that he might actually fall short.
Just last week the Denver Business Journal’s Cathy Proctor reported that the Polis initiatives had only collected 65,000 signatures each. They need 86,105 valid signatures by August 4th, and they’ll need to collect well over that to allow for cushion as many signatures will be disqualified.
Conventional political wisdom has always dictated that 120,000 signatures is a comfortable number, but recently that number has grown. Backers of the ill-fated Amendment 66 turned in over 160,000 signatures and barely made the ballot – with 46 percent of their signatures invalidated.
It’s entirely possible that Amendment 66 proponents were forging signatures and doing sloppy work. But, what if Coloradans are just getting sick of signing petitions and increasingly giving false information or just writing illegibly out of frustration?
If the latter is the case, then Polis and his associates are far behind where they need to be, which explains his vague comment when asked by Fox 31’s Eli Stokols if he was prepared to spend whatever it takes to get his initiatives on the ballot. Polis responded: “If the people of Colorado want them on the ballot, they’ll be on the ballot.”
Sounds like hedging to us.