Gov. Polis Signs Executive Orders to Protect Access to Ballot & Ensure Elections Can Proceed Safely

Sunday, May 17, 2020

DENVER - Gov. Jared Polis signed Executive Orders today to ensure elections can proceed safely and protect access to the ballot. 

“This is a challenging time for Colorado, but we must not sacrifice our democracy and the right of citizens to petition due to the pandemic. Protecting our democracy, access to the ballot and making sure citizens can qualify ballot measures and can qualify as candidates to run for office during this time is critical,” said Gov. Polis. “I appreciate the work of Sec. Griswold and the thoughtful input we have received throughout this process.”

Gov. Polis signed Executive Order D 2020 065, concerning signature collection for ballot issues, which authorizes the Secretary of State to create temporary rules for registered electors to receive and return issue petitions over mail and email, and to support safe in-person signature gathering. 

Gov. Polis also signed Executive Order D 2020 064, which temporarily suspends the statutory provisions requiring registered electors to sign petitions for unaffiliated and independent candidates in the presence of a petition circulator, and authorizes the Secretary of State to issue rules that allow for signature collection in a manner that protects public health while the COVID-19 disaster emergency declaration is in place. 

The Governor also extended an Executive Order limiting in-person contact for the 2020 elections while allowing the elections to proceed safely and without interruption to the Secretary of State’s operations. CDPHE also updated the state’s Safer At Home Public Health Order (PHO) to further clarify that elections are a critical government function adding election operations, including election judges, signature gatherers and circulators, campaign workers, and volunteers.