Contributed by the Secretary of State’s Office


DENVER, Colo.- After working closely with the Governor’s office and stakeholders, the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office will delay unaffiliated and non-partisan Regional Transit District (RTD) candidate petition gathering due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even with the suspension, candidates will still have the standard 56 days to petition to get on the November 3 ballot.


“We recognize this is a difficult time for candidates to collect signatures and ballot accessibility is important to our democracy,” said Secretary of State Jena Griswold.  “While no one is sure what the next month will hold, delaying the start of petitioning for unaffiliated and RTD candidates is the best first step to respond to public health concerns.”


Governor Polis issued an Executive Order today, which states in part: “Pursuant to the authority vested in the Governor of the State of Colorado and, in particular, pursuant to Article IV, Section 2 of the Colorado Constitution and the relevant portions of the Colorado Disaster Emergency Act, C.R.S. 24-33.5-701 et seq., I, Jared Polis, Governor of the State of Colorado, hereby issue this Executive Order ordering the temporary suspension of certain regulatory statutes concerning petition collection for unaffiliated and independent candidates due to the presence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Colorado.”


In response to the executive order from Governor Polis, Secretary Griswold will issue emergency rules to allow unaffiliated and RTD candidates to begin circulating petitions no later than June 1, 2020 and to extend the deadline for unaffiliated and RTD candidates to circulate petitions to July 27, 2020.


Prior to today’s executive order, unaffiliated and RTD candidates were not to begin circulating petitions prior to 173 days before the general election. For the 2020 election cycle, this date would have been Thursday, May 14, 2020. Submitted petitions were to be returned by 3 p.m. July 9, 2020.


For more information, please visit www.sos.state.co.us.