The Colorado Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously rejected Gov. Jared Polis’ effort to allow signatures for ballot initiatives to be gathered by email and mail, saying that the Democrat does not have the power to suspend a requirement in the state’s constitution even in a disaster emergency like the coronavirus crisis.
“The Colorado constitution requires that ballot initiative petitions be signed in the presence of the petition circulator,” the court said in its ruling. “That requirement cannot be suspended by executive order, even during a pandemic.”
The decision marks the first court-ordered reversal of an action taken by Polis in response to coronavirus.
“The Colorado Disaster Emergency Act authorizes the suspension of certain statutes, rules, and regulations,” the ruling said, “but not of constitutional provisions.”
In a written statement, Polis said the decision is “a blow to the power of the people of our state to petition.”
This story is being published partially at Coloradoan.com and in full in Thursday’s Coloradoan print edition through an agreement with the Colorado Sun. Read the full story online at coloradosun.com.