Secretary Of State Appealing Ruling That Added Candidate To The Democratic Primary Ballot

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Secretary of State Jena Griswold speaks to a reporter in her office, Jan. 30, 2019.

Update Mon. 4/27, 5pm: The Colorado Supreme Court has agreed to take up the case and has asked that briefs be filed by April 30. The Colorado Secretary of State has until May 7th to certify the names for the Democratic primary ballot.

Secretary of State Jena Griswold is appealing a recent court decision ordering her office to place Michelle Ferrigno Warren on the Democratic Senate primary ballot, despite the candidate not turning in enough valid signatures.

The judge ruled that, given the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ferrigno Warren's signature gathering efforts should be considered sufficient to qualify for the primary. A second candidate who didn't get enough signatures, Lorena Garcia, has also gone to court to be added.

Griswold's office said that while it recognizes the challenge candidates faced qualifying for the ballot during a pandemic, "Colorado courts should apply a uniform standard across the board out of fairness to all candidates."

“That’s why the Secretary of State’s Office is appealing the Ferrigno Warren District Court case. Given the gravity of this decision, the Colorado Supreme Court should have the opportunity to weigh in and we hope it will issue a uniform standard that can be applied to all similar cases.”

In a statement responding to the appeal, Ferrigno Warren slammed Griswold. “This reeks of D.C-style politics and everything wrong with our government. The role of the Colorado Secretary of State is to oversee fair and just elections and empower voters at the voting booth, not cherry pick who makes the ballot in the midst of a pandemic.”