( – promoted by Colorado Pols)
Last night, I wrote a diary here on ColoradoPols highlighting complaints filed against Initiatives 53 and 59, as well as Amendment 47, for alleged fraud during the petition gathering process.
Today, the whole petitioning situation got even more, well, criminal. According to 9News, some companies hired to gather signatures for ballot initiatives in Colorado this year and in years past may have hired convicted criminals to collect petition signatures:
9NEWS found signature gatherers convicted of sexual assault on a child, theft, harassment, trespassing and drug possession. Most signature gatherers are hired by private companies and paid for each signature they receive.
People who sign petitions are required to give their name, signature and their home address.
9NEWS talked to some companies who hire signature gatherers. Each company 9NEWS spoke with said it does not do background checks on employees hired to help get initiatives on Colorado’s ballot.
This is completely outrageous. It’s bad enough for these signature gatherers to be engaging in the sort fraudulent behavior I mentioned in my diary yesterday, but knowing that it’s convicted criminals collecting your sensitive personal information takes this to a whole new level. Personal information already falls into the hands of identity thieves too easily in this day and age, and now unsuspecting Coloradans may have voluntarily handed it over simply by signing a petition.
The thing that really gets me about this is that some of these criminals were people convicted of theft, trespassing, and sexual assault on a child. I’m sure that most of you have been approached by people gathering signatures for something while out with your kids at the mall or grocery store. How terrifying to think that the person who claimed to be just a volunteer or activist was actually a child molester. And that you, simply by signing a petition, just gave that person information about where you live and where your children sleep at night.
Any ballot initiative or amendment campaign that has or is using one of these companies needs to fire them and start all over.
A simple background check on your petition circulators might be a good place to start.