COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., June 18, 2013 — Secretary of State Scott Gessler today announced the petition to recall Senator John Morse (SD-11) was found sufficient as required by statute.
On June 3, the proponents of the recall effort submitted 16,198 petition signatures to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State’s office began an immediate line-by-line review of the signatures. The proponents were required to gather 7,178 valid signatures, equaling 25 percent of all the votes cast in the previous election for Senate District 11. The total number of valid signatures on the petition was 10,137.
The reject rate was 37.5 percent, about normal for petitions in Colorado. Some of the signatures were collected by volunteers and others by paid signature-gatherers. Under Colorado law, there is a fifteen calendar day protest period, during which any eligible elector can file a protest with the Secretary of State. To cause the petition to fail, an additional 2,959 signatures would have to be invalidated. However, the proponents can sue to have some of the invalidated signatures added back in.
Barring a successful protest, at the conclusion of the protest period, the Governor will be responsible for setting an election date. The election date will be held between 45-75 days from the end of the protest period.
The Giron recall petition was filed just one week later on June 10. Although that recall committee didn’t get the huge cushion of signatures that the Morse recall committee did, Pueblo Freedom and Rights did not use paid signature gatherers.
In Colorado Springs, Republicans are racing to raise money to challenge Morse in a recall election. No clear opponent has yet emerged. Morse, operating through a committee, has raised more than $75,000 from Denver and Washington-based organizations and $120,000 in all. They spent about half of the money trying to convince voters not to sign the petitions.
Although Morse earned the ire of his constituents over his role in passing gun control measures this past session, the main reason many signers cited was his outspoken refusal to listen to his constituents.
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