AP reporting on the unanimous final passage of House Bill 17-1088, legislation to require the Colorado Secretary of State’s office to apply the same standards for checking signatures on candidate petitions as is already done for ballot measure petitions and mail ballots:
Colorado is tightening requirements for the petitions gathered by would-be political candidates.
A bill that passed the Senate 34-0 Friday sets a signature-verification procedure for those ballots. It says the state has to check signatures against an existing voter database, instead of just verifying names and addresses.
The upgrade was inspired by last year’s Senate primary, when forged signatures were found on some petitions from a Republican seeking to get on the GOP primary ballot.
The implosion of Jon Keyser’s U.S. Senate campaign almost one year ago today was the result of several factors: the failure of Keyser’s campaign and petition contractors to stop their lawbreaking employee, the failure of the Colorado Secretary of State’s office to catch submitted forgeries despite being warned by their own employees during the signature count–and above all, Keyser’s personal arrogance responding to journalists asking basic questions about what had happened.
It came as a shock to most outside observers last year when the Secretary of State claimed they could not investigate forged petition signatures, since the authority to check them against the voter file signature record was not explicit in the law. It’s arguable that if the forged petitions in Keyser’s petitions had been caught at any point before a liberal activist group exposed them in a press conference, Keyser might have been able to recover politically from the incident before the U.S. Senate primary.
This bill will provide an important check to help the next Jon Keyser save himself…from himself.