Colorado Candidate Selection, Initiative 29 (2002)

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The Colorado Candidate Selection Initiative, also known as Initiative 29, was on the November 5, 2002 ballot in Colorado as an initiated state statute, where it was defeated. The measure would have required all candidates for nomination at a primary election be placed on the primary election ballot by petition and eliminated the candidate designation and certification process from state, county and district assemblies. It also would have allowed a candidate to include a personal statement on his or her nominating petition.[1]

Election results

Colorado Initiative 29 (2002)
Defeatedd No768,68360.14%
Yes 509,109 39.84%

Election results via: Colorado Secretary of State (P.144-155)

Text of measure

The language appeared on the ballot as:[1]

An amendment to the Colorado revised statutes concerning the use of petitions to provide candidate access to the primary election ballot, and, in connection therewith, requiring that all candidates for nomination at a primary election be placed on the primary election ballot by petition; eliminating the candidate designation and certification process from state, county, and district assemblies; specifying the signature requirements for nominating petitions for access to the primary election ballot; allowing a candidate to include a personal statement on his or her nominating petition; providing for examination of nominating petitions by the designated election official; and setting forth a procedure to protest the election official's decision regarding the sufficiency of nominating petitions.[2]


The following background information was provided in the state Blue Book analysis of Amendment 29:[3]

State law sets forth the process for major political parties (currently the Democratic and Republican parties) to select candidates for the primary ballot. At a primary election, registered Democrats and Republicans vote for candidates to represent their party at the general election in November. To get on the ballot, candidates must either obtain votes cast at assembly meetings or collect petition signatures from voters affiliated with their party. This proposal eliminates the option of obtaining votes at assemblies and requires all candidates to collect petition signatures to get on the primary ballot.

The caucus and assembly process. Under current law, caucus meetings are organized within each local election precinct to discuss political candidates and issues. To participate in a precinct caucus, a person must be registered to vote and must be affiliated with a major political party. At each neighborhood caucus, delegates are elected to attend an assembly. At an assembly, delegates vote to select the party's candidates for county, legislative, congressional, or statewide races. Candidates who receive at least 30 percent of the delegate votes cast at their assembly appear on the primary ballot. Most candidates are placed on the primary ballot through the caucus and assembly process.

Petitioning. Currently, a candidate may choose to bypass the caucus and assembly process and collect petition signatures in order to appear on the primary ballot. The option to collect signatures also presently exists for any candidate who receives between 10 and 30 percent of the votes cast at the assembly. Any candidate who receives less than 10 percent of the vote at an assembly cannot be on the primary ballot.

Signature requirements. The proposal changes the number of signatures required to get on the primary ballot for most political offices, in most cases reducing the number from current law.

The proposal extends the time allowed for collecting signatures from roughly two months to roughly six months. Under current law, candidates may begin collecting signatures on the first Monday in April. This proposal allows candidates to begin collecting signatures as early as November 15 of the year before the election. The proposal also requires that signatures be submitted earlier in the year. Current law requires signatures to be submitted 70 days before the August primary election; this proposal requires signatures to be submitted 95 days before the primary. An election official has seven days to review the petitions and notify the candidate whether the petition appears to be sufficient. A person protesting the election official's decision must identify specific names being challenged and the basis for challenging those names. A protester may also be charged a fee that is reasonably related to the election official’s cost of validating the signatures.[2]


Peggy Lamm - Bighorn Action -

Bill Kaufman - Bighorn Action -[4]


Save the Caucus - 303-832-4578[4]

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