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Petition signatures
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I'm glad we have a process, but it sounds so complicated. We'll talk tomorrow at our monthly meeting.

Explanation of the Rules

From Boulder City Attorney, Tom Carr (2Jun2020): 

On Saturday, the Secretary of State announced rules for mail and email signatures on petitions.  The rules can be found at:


The following is a brief summary:


  • Proponents must submit and have approved by the Secretary of State a form for mail or email signatures.
  • Proponents may circulate both in person and remotely.
  • Email or mail signatures must be “wet.” 
  • Email or mail signatures must be witnessed by a registered voter who is not the collector.
  • The witness may either do so in person or remotely through an audio visual system that allows the witness to see the person signing.
  • If the witness acts remotely, the signer must send by mail or electronic means the signed petition to the witness who must then affix a wet signature and return it to the signer.
  • The witness must sign an affidavit stating that the signature is of the person identified, that the person signing is a registered voter and the witness saw the signer sign.
  • The proponent must designate a collector and a transcriber.
  • The collector is responsible for sending and receiving remotely signed petitions.
  • The collector must sign an affidavit.
  • The collector affidavit must be sent to a notary to notarize. 
  • The transcriber is responsible for transcribing the information on the remote petitions onto petition forms. 
  • The transcriber must bundle the transcribed petitions with the original signature pages for submission to the Secretary of State.
  • The transcriber must sign a transcriber affidavit for each section. 
  • The proponent must indicate which sections were circulated in person and which were circulated by mail or email.
  • Petitions and any cure must be submitted no later than August 3, 2020.
  • Any section that does not comply with the rules can be rejected.
  • Faulty affidavits can be cured.
  • The Secretary of State will compare signatures to those in the voter database.




Tom Carr

Boulder City Attorney

(303) 441-3020

(pronouns: He/Him/His

Colorado governor suspends laws to allow signature

gathering for ballot initiatives by email and mail

Colorado Sun

The executive order suspended several laws and will prompt the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office to develop rules to allow for signature gathering by email and mail.

So, I guess we'll get instructions later for how to do this. 

Thanks, Rionda. As for the Secretary of State's website regarding Initiative 271, I could not find anything about how alternately we can gather petition signatures, although the deadline has been extended to July 27th, if I recall correctly.


Here’s a message that details discussions about petition signatures in Boulder City.  

I wonder if the other municipalities would put their petitions on the ballot in this manner.  Maybe the County would do so as well.   

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Brockett, Aaron" <>
Subject: [BoulderCouncilHotline] Re: Petition signatures
Date: 10May, 2020 at 6:55:20 PM MDT

First of all, Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful moms out there!

Secondly, I would like to second Rachel's request to discuss petition signing at our council meeting on Tuesday night. I also wanted to share the guidance on signature collection that was issued by Boulder County Public Health's legal department:

"Boulder County Public Health (BCPH) appreciates the inquiries regarding the signature collection process for November 2020 ballot measures and recognizes the importance of elections and maintaining fairness in the election process.  Because there is no reference to this activity in the State’s Safer at Home Order, individuals should request guidance from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). Given community transmission of COVID-19 and strict CDPHE social distancing mandates, BCPH cannot endorse any activity that will generate a high volume of person-to-person contacts such as in-person signature collection and particularly door-to-door collection of signatures.  All signature collection efforts must comply with applicable public health orders, and BCPH strongly encourages organizers and individuals to explore, to the extent permitted by law, signature-collection methods that avoid in-person contact."

Given that the deadline for collecting signatures for most ballot measures is June 5th, I think it's too late to re-consider allowing electronic petition signing. Instead, I ask that council considers placing the initiatives on the ballot ourselves. It would bring an end to the in-person signature collection that public health is recommending against, but still give direct democracy a chance in these extraordinary times we find ourselves in.

Aaron Brockett

C: 720-984-1863

From: Friend, Rachel <>
Sent: Thursday, May 7, 2020 12:17 PM
Subject: Petition signatures 
Dear colleagues and Hotline readers,

It has come to my attention that ballot initiative signature gatherers were denied a permit by the City (for Pearl St) to collect signatures, and that our local health department does not endorse signature gathering that requires in-person contact. 

In light of these developments, which present a material change since our last discussion (in which at least some of us suggested going door to door or collecting signatures at places like Pearl St), I would ask that CAC add in a new discussion on this topic for next Tuesday’s meeting.  

I also don’t believe we ever thoroughly discussed or voted on whether to simply refer currently certified measures to the ballot ourselves. I think that would be helpful to consider / discuss as well. 

Rachel Friend
Boulder City Council Member
Mobile: 720-601-0163
Office: 303-441-3002

Boulder City Council
1777 Broadway
Boulder, CO 80302

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