Gov. Polis Has Been On The Job For 6 Months. Bring On The Recall Petitions

Alex Scoville/CPR News
Gov. Jared Polis in his office Monday March 25 2019.

Now that six months have elapsed since Gov. Jared Polis was sworn in, state law allows efforts to recall him to officially get underway.

A number of groups in recent months have been vocal about their desire to recall the Democratic governor over policies he’s supported since taking office. The Secretary of State approved the Dismiss Polis issue committee's request for a recall petition Monday.

A spokesperson for the Secretary of State’s office says it will take 631,266, or 25 percent of the votes cast in the most recent election, to get the issue on the ballot. 

Karen Kataline, a spokesperson for Dismiss Polis, acknowledges that will be a tough task. “The number of signatures are Herculean. And yet, there are a lot of people that want to do it anyway because they are that upset with what’s going on.”

She said people were “riled up” after the 2019 legislative session. In particular, Kataline highlighted the so-called ‘Red Flag’ gun law and Colorado's move to join the National Popular Vote compact. She said they're examples of bills Polis signed that many in the state do not support and that he did not campaign on.

The movement to recall Polis started not long after he took office, and so far it’s been fractured between a number of different groups. At least one of them, the Resist Polis PAC, is throwing its support behind the Dismiss petition rather than setting up its own. Dismiss Polis currently has $20,325 in the bank, according to state campaign finance filings. That’s less than the ‘Official Recall Governor Polis’ committee, which reported $62.533 as of its last filing. 

Polis told Colorado Matters in March that he is unfazed by these efforts, saying “I’m going to do what I said I would do.”

The Democratic governor won with 53 percent of the vote.

“I totally get that 42 percent of the state didn’t vote for me, and I’m doing my best to convince them that I’m going to do a good job for them too.” 

Once the Secretary of State’s office reviews and approves the petition format, proponents have 60 days to collect signatures.