The Polis Recall Effort Starts This Summer. They’ll Need 631,000 Signatures

· Mar. 19, 2019, 8:06 pm
Photo: Jared Polis Electric Car Executive OrderGrace Hood/CPR News
Gov. Jared Polis signs his first environmental executive order on Thursday, Jan. 17, to put more electric cars and buses on the road. He's flanked by state representatives and leaders of environmental groups.

Published 2:14 p.m. | Updated 3:28 p.m.

There are now two groups who want to recall Democratic Gov. Jared Polis.

But they may face some challenges because of state law.

The rules for recalling a governor include collecting signatures from 25 percent of the number of the voters who cast a ballot in the last election for governor.

More than 2.5 million people voted in last year’s governor’s race, said Colorado Secretary of State office spokeswoman Serena Woods. To get the recall on the ballot, the groups will need more than 631,000 signatures in the 60 days after the petition is approved by the state’s office. If they fall short, there will be no recall.

On top of that, no recall effort can begin circulating until after a governor has been in office for at least six months. Polis has been in office for two. Woods said the groups could still submit their paperwork to the state’s office but nothing can be done until the six-month period has passed.

“This number of signatures is a lot of signatures to collect in a short amount of time, so it certainly is a big hill to climb,” she said. “But we have this provision in Colorado law and the way that Coloradans participate in democracy, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see.”

Neither group has taken the step to file any recall paperwork as of yet.

Secretary of State records show that “Official Recall Colorado Governor Jared Polis” registered as an issue committee earlier in March. The “Resist Polis PAC” is an independent expenditure committee that has been active since last July.

Phone calls to both groups seeking comment were not returned Tuesday morning.

The Recall Colorado Governor Jared Polis Facebook page has more than 21,000 members. The page said the group takes issue with the governor for three reasons: the National Popular Vote law, the Red Flag gun control bill and oil and gas legislation.

“Recalling a governor will be difficult,” the page reads. The group plans to collect data and raise money until Polis has served for six months.

Dozens of other Facebook groups that support recalling Polis have also organized. One website says “A recall is coming” and asks for people to pledge their support.

KOAA News 5 reported that another recall group held its first official meeting Monday night in Pueblo and 50 people attended. One member said he’s lost his vote in the presidential election under the National Popular Vote law, and that the red flag bill and oil and gas legislation are “infringing upon American rights.”

The two groups that have submitted their recall paperwork will need to wait for approval from the secretary of the state’s office, which will come at the earliest in the summer, after Polis has been in office for six months, before moving forward.

Editor’s Note: This story has been corrected to clarify that no recall petition paperwork has been filed yet with the Secretary of State. Official Recall Colorado Governor Jared Polis submitted their committee registration filing in March.

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