Colorado Referendum F, Recall Deadlines (2006)
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The measure would have removed deadlines for protesting petitions to recall officials, allowed the legislature to set such deadlines, and changed requirements for when a recall election is held.
The official ballot title read:
An amendment to the Constitution of the state of Colorado, concerning elections to recall state elected officials, and, in connection therewith, providing for the deadlines regarding recall petitions and hearings to be set in statute rather than in the Constitution and stating that a recall election shall be held as part of a general election if a general election will be held between 50 and 90 days after the time for filing a protest has passed and all protests have been finally decided.
Supporters said that Referendum F gives the legislature the flexibility to change recall election procedures and deadlines to address changing circumstances. Current deadlines may be too tight for election officials to respond to petition protests and to conduct a recall election. For example, if a recall petition for the current governor is protested, state election officials could have as few as five days to hear protests on the validity of 358,200 signatures. If a recall petition is submitted close to a November election in an even-numbered year, there may not be enough time to prepare and reprint a new ballot. Referendum F allows the legislature to take all circumstances into account in setting deadlines for the recall election process.
Opponents argued that Referendum F puts too much power in the hands of legislators and the governor by allowing them to amend election deadlines that regulate recall of their own offices. These officials may have an incentive to adopt deadlines that make their recall more difficult or that extend their time in office before facing a recall election.
Opponents also objected to the measures removal of the 15-day period for collecting additional signatures to remedy a shortfall. They also aregued that the amendment was unnecessary, because no statewide elected official has ever been the subject of a recall election.
Under the Referendum F deadlines, elected officials may have more days in office prior to a recall election, providing an advantage for an elected official to organize opposition to his or her recall.
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- Colorado Blue Book on Referendum F
- History of Referendum F
- November 7, 2006 ballot measure election results in Colorado