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Larimer County, Colorado
HomeColorado Ballot Initiatives Information

Think Before You Ink...
Finding out More About Colorado Ballot Initiatives

It's Petition Season!

Signing Petitions is Not Necessarily a Civic Duty
Ballot Initiatives and Referenda are already circulating for the 2020 election!
You can help by making informed choices about what to sign!
It is NOT your civic duty to sign petition; it IS your civic duty to fully understand the issue WHEN you decide to sign a petition!

Colorado has several ways issues can be presented to voters:

  • Initiated constitutional amendment -
    An amendment to a state's constitution that comes about through the initiative process.

  • Legislatively referred state statute or constitutional amendment -
    Appears on a state's ballot as a ballot measure because the state legislature in that state voted to put it before the voters.
  • Referendum Petitions
    circulated to gather the signatures of registered Colorado voters in an attempt to have a bill
     that was passed by the legislature placed on the ballot as a statewide ballot issue. 
     While this is a rare occurrence, there is one referendum petition that has been approved for 2020.

  • Legislatively referred bond question -

    A question is referred to the ballot asking voters to approve or deny additional proposed spending.

When you are approached in the grocery store parking lot and asked to sign a petition; please ask questions and Think Before You Ink!

Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events

Issues Currently Approved for Petitions


#22 Severance Tax on Oil and Gas
Status: Approved for circulation

Designated representatives
Andrew O’Connor
1220 W. Devonshire Court
Lafayette, CO 80026
Mary Henry
1220 W. Devonshire Court
Lafayette, CO 80026


Senate Bill #19-042 (National Popular Vote)

Proponents: Rose Pugliese & Don Wilson

Date format approved: March 15, 2019

Date petition due: August 1, 2019 (90 days after general assembly adjournment)

# of signatures required: 124,632

Ballot year: 2020

House Bill #19-1052 (Concerning The Creation of Special Districts To Provide Early Childhood Development Services)

Proponents: Karl Honegger & Marty Neilson

Date format approved: April 12, 2019

Date petition due: August 1, 2019 (90 days after general assembly adjournment)

# of signatures required: 124,632

Ballot year: 2020

Before You Sign.....

Before you sign, make sure you understand all the implications of a proposed issue
Most petitions are titled with worthy intentions, but often they are proposing the opposite of what the title suggests, or the draft of the legislation negatively affects other issues you would support. 
This is why the League of Women Voters advises that citizens work with their representatives to affect legislation. The League supports the initiative process but not as an end-run to the state constitution.

Your signature should be considered at least as valuable as your vote. For more about the process of citizen initiatives and the full texts of the proposals, go to

For information about referendums

Important Points To Consider.... 
Remember, Democracy is NOT Easy.... 

Consider carefully whether or not you should sign BEFORE you research the issue.  Once petition drives start (which is NOW), stay in touch with the League or the SOS office to review current petitions. 

KNOW whether it is a constitutional amendment, a state statute or a Referendum petition. Understand if it is citizen or Legislature Initiated. 

  • Does it belong in the Constitution? If an initiative intends to amend the U.S. or state Constitution, consider whether it really belongs there. Is it a fundamental law that should be protected from change? Correcting a constitutional amendment requires another constitutional amendment — and another vote of the people — which is cumbersome and costly
  • Should it be a law?  Remember, a statute initiative by the citizenry may not take into account the complexities involved, including enforcement and other budget considerations.  Statute initiatives can also be amended or cancelled at a later date by a vote of the legislature.
  • Is it complex? Some issues can be decided by a simple “yes” or “no” vote, but complex issues need to be thoroughly examined and debated in a legislative arena — not a grocery store parking lot — before writing onto a ballot. Some initiatives are not well written, or contain conflicts that may require court resolution or interpretations. If written to law, the inevitable clarification of legalese costs taxpayers.
  • Whose idea is it? All signature gatherers are required to wear a badge that identifies them as “volunteer circulator” or “paid circulator”. If the signature gatherer is not wearing a badge, do not sign. If s/he is a paid circulator, the badge should also give the name and phone number of who hired her/him. You can find out the real sponsors and opponents of a petition drive:

o    Contribution and expenditure reports are available through the Election Center at the Secretary of State’s Office at 303-894-2200 or at

o    Larimer County Clerk's Office, 970-498-7922

o    Loveland City Clerk, 970-962-2322

o    Fort Collins City Clerk, 970-221-6515

o    GOOGLE the individuals or groups that support or oppose the initiative. 

  • How will it be funded? An unfunded mandate or a recall of an elected official who will be up for reelection soon anyway, may impact other essential programs by diverting budgets. The public may have believed in the premise, but didn’t realize the funding would cause other problems.

For a handout of this information, please Click below.  
Think Before You Ink Handout