Personhood Coalition files legal action to make this ballot — or next

Posted on September 27, 2012

Denver Post, September 27, 2012 by Electa Draper

The Colorado Personhood Coalition said Thursday it is suing in Denver District Court to challenge the secretary of state’s ruling that the anti-abortion measure fell short of making the fall ballot by 3,859 signatures.

By law, the coalition had 30 days from the Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s Aug. 29 announcement to prove to the court it had gathered enough valid voter signatures. However, state officials said, even if they made their case, the ballot certification deadline was Sept. 10 — the proposed “personhood” amendment to the state Constitution, Initiative 46, would have to wait until the 2014 general election.

Personhood USA founder Keith Mason said that was up to a judge.

“A judge could say ‘new ballot.’ But either 2012 or 2014 is fine with us,” Mason said a press conference Thursday on the courthouse steps.

Mason said the coalition found more than 6,800 signatures that were invalidated despite the fact they were those of registered voters. They were stricken because of tiny irregularities in addresses and other insignificant issues, he said.

“The secretary of state misapplied the laws,” Mason said — the office was simply too strict. “We’re fighting for all the signatures, the voters and the volunteers who worked on this.”

The NO Personhood Campaign spokeswoman Crystal Clinkenbeard said supporters of the anti-abortion amendment should know after attempts in 2008 and 2010 how to get on the ballot. The measure lost by 3-to-1 margins in those elections.

“The NO Personhood Campaign will continue to fight this dangerous amendment this year or in 2014,or any year,” Clinkenbeard said.