COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, June 24, 2013 — Hard on the heels of the certification of Sen. John Morse comes the Secretary of State certification that there are enough valid signatures on petitions to recall Sen. Angela Giron from Pueblo.
This is quite significant because Pueblo is heavily Democratic. It was not Republicans or independents who petitioned to recall Giron, but Democrats. Leading the Pueblo Freedom and Rights recall effort are Victor and Adam Head, two brothers who are plumbers and union members. They were joined by other union members as well.
On June 10, 2013, the proponents of the recall effort submitted 13,466 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 11,285 valid signatures, equaling 25 percent of all the votes cast in the previous election for Senate District 3. The total number of valid signatures on the petition was 12,648.
Another very significant fact is that there was only a 6% reject rate. Normally, signature gatherers seek to gather 35-50% more signatures than necessary. Pueblo Freedom and Rights did not use any paid gatherers at all; rather, they carefully checked each signer’s eligibility to sign the petition. The astounding 94% acceptance rate is proof that their method worked.
Like the recall effort in El Paso County, the effort in Pueblo is 100% grassroots organized by people who had not been previously politically active. They received no support from organizations inside or outside of the state, or from political parties. Citizens simply feel that legislators have overstepped their bounds and are not listening to them.
In a related development, people who signed petitions are now reported to be getting phone calls from out of state asking them to recant their signatures.
Under Colorado law, any eligible elector can file a protest with the Secretary of State within fifteen days to challenge the validity of the petitions. Barring a successful protest at the conclusion of the protest period, the Governor will be responsible for setting an election date within a thirty-day window of time.
It seems likely that both recall elections will be held in September.
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