Signature recovery lawsuit

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Signature recovery lawsuits are lawsuits filed by initiative sponsors or candidates -- after they have been notified by the relevant election authority in their jurisdiction of the election authority's determination that they collected insufficent signatures to qualify for the ballot -- that seek to rehabilitate or otherwise show that signatures that were disallowed by the election authority should actually have been counted as valid.

Signature recovery lawsuits are the flip side of post-certification signature challenges. In both cases, a private party or political advocacy group files a lawsuit against election officials. In the case of a signature recovery lawsuit, the lawsuit is filed by the initiative's supporters, claiming the election official wrongfully disqualified valid signatures. In the case of a post-certification lawsuit, the initiative's opponents file a lawsuit against election officials, claiming they wrongfully counted as valid some signatures there were in fact invalid.

Signature recovery lawsuits in 2008


  • Arizona Proposition 101. This lawsuit was successful and the measure has now been certified for the November ballot.

Unsuccessful or withdrawn


  • Colorado Amendment 82. Supporters of this initiative filed a signature recovery lawsuit in early October 2008. Since it is too late for their effort to make the 2008 ballot, the relief they seek, if they win the lawsuit, is to be placed on the 2010 ballot. The group says that the Colorado Secretary of State's office disqualified 8,000 signatures that were in fact valid.[3]

Signature recovery lawsuits in 2006

Signature recovery lawsuits in 2002