Gov. Polis signs executive order to ensure safe elections

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DENVER, CO – JUNE 18: Jared Polis listens to a question during a democratic party governors race debate at the University of Denver on Monday, June 18, 2018. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

DENVER (KDVR) — Governor Jared Polis signed two executive orders on Saturday to ensure elections can proceed in a safe manner and protect access to the ballot. 

“This is a challenging time for Colorado, but we must not sacrifice our democracy and the right of citizens to petition due to the pandemic,” Polis said.

“Protecting our democracy, access to the ballot and making sure citizens can qualify ballot measures and can qualify as candidates to run for office during this time is critical.”

These are the new orders Polis signed:

  • Executive Order D 2020 065: concerning signature collection for ballot issues, which authorizes the Secretary of State to create temporary rules for registered electors to receive and return issue petitions over mail and email, and to support safe in-person signature gathering.
  • Executive Order D 2020 064: which temporarily suspends the statutory provisions requiring registered electors to sign petitions for unaffiliated and independent candidates in the presence of a petition circulator, and authorizes the Secretary of State to issue rules that allow for signature collection in a manner that protects public health while the COVID-19 disaster emergency declaration is in place.

He also extended an existing order limiting in-person contact for the 2020 elections while allowing the elections to proceed safely and without interruption to the Secretary of State’s operations.

CDPHE also updated the state’s Safer At Home Public Health Order (PHO) to further clarify that elections are a critical government function adding election operations, including election judges, signature gatherers and circulators, campaign workers, and volunteers.

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