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Mon Aug 5, 2019, 04:29 AM

Lawsuit against signature-gathering firm illustrates problems with Colorado's process to get on the

Lawsuit against signature-gathering firm illustrates problems with Colorado’s process to get on the ballot, lawyer says

Colorado has deep-seated problems with its petition system that could prevent qualified candidates from getting on the ballot, says an attorney for 2018 Republican gubernatorial nominee Walker Stapleton.

Stapleton is suing a company he hired to collect thousands of signatures to land him on the primary ballot in a case that is slated to go to trial Monday in Denver. His lawyer, Democrat Stan Garnett, says it shows the broken nature of the signature-gathering process, which requires statewide candidates to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a private company in order to reasonably be able to collect the thousands of signatures needed to get on the ballot.

It’s complex and costly, he says, and hence problem prone.

“This case will illustrate the kinds of problems that a candidate for statewide office runs into when trying to petition onto the ballot,” said Garnett, of the Denver law and lobbying firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, in a Friday interview with The Colorado Sun and its news partner CBS4. “… There’s a long history of people having problems with this process, of people using it against them in the primary and it becoming a big distraction. So I think we need to figure out how to fix that.”

With the 2020 elections fast approaching and Republican recall efforts against Democrats and their policies gaining steam, signature gathering in Colorado is likely to return to the spotlight. That’s especially true with the large Democratic field running to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner next year, since most of them will likely seek to make the ballot through the signature-gathering route.

Read more: https://coloradosun.com/2019/08/04/walker-stapleton-ballot-signature-process-lawsuit-kennedy-enterprises/

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