Organizing and completing a recall election is no easy task.

In fact, it’s only been done a few times in Colorado’s history..

While organizing within the grassroots proves to be a challenging ordeal by itself, navigating the intricacies of the recall process with the office of the Secretary of State requires intense attention to detail and leaves no room whatsoever for error.

Along the way, any conservative recall effort can expect to face ugly opposition and significant funds spend to dissuade, confuse or even intimidate voters.

So how does a recall Election work?

Filing The Petition For Recall

Chapter 15 of the Colorado Elections Policy Manual discusses Recall Elections. It states:“Every elected officer at the state or local level in Colorado is subject to recall from office.”

“At the state and county levels, the elected officer must hold office for at least 6 months before a recall petition may be circulated or filed.”

State Representatives and Senators need only to be sworn into office for 5 days before a recall is permitted.

“The number of signatures proponents must collect is based on the type of office.” For Statewide offices as well as Senators and Representatives, “Signatures equal to 25% of all votes cast for that office in the previous general election” are required.

“For all state recall elections, the Secretary of State approves all petitions, and the county serves as the designated election official (DEO) who conducts the election. The DEO must approve the proponents’ petition format before they may begin circulating.”

There is no room for error on the submission.

Collecting Signatures On An Approved Recall Petition

Who can volunteer?

Every person who circulates the petition must be:
• A Colorado resident;
• A U.S. citizen; and
• At least 18 years old.

Who can sign?

Only Colorado Residents who are registered to vote in Colorado may sign the petition.

You must both live in and be registered to vote in the geographic area of the politician being recalled to sign.

All signed petitions must be notarized by a notary public.

After You’ve Got Your Petition Signed

Each Petition must be notarized by a notary public, then batched with all other petitions before they are sent to the Secretary of State’s office for validation.

If enough signatures are valid, the Secretary of State approves the petition and a recall election is to be set.

Can There Be Multiple Petitions?

Unfortunately, the answer is “Yes”. Any Issue Committee may submit a petition for the Secretary of State for approval, even if another organization already has.

The SOS’s office will approve two or more recall petitions for an officeholder as long as the proponents are different and the statements of grounds for recall are different. These petitions may not combine their efforts in order to reach the necessary signature threshold.

Can I Sign Multiple Petitions?

Yes and No.

You must recognize what an enormous task is being taken on to collect the appropriate amount of signatures for a recall. It is highly unlikely more than one organization could accomplish this feat while working at the same time as one another. Even ballot initiatives requiring 1/5 of the number of signatures have fallen short of their goal in the past.

The organization which submits their petition first with the correct number of signatures should not be concerned. As long as their signatures are valid, they are counted. Any organization to submit after that would be at a huge disadvantage because any duplicate signatures on their petition will be cancelled, as those signatures are already credited to the first petition submitted.

Multiple organizations working to duplicate efforts will only be working against the cause.

Can Multiple State Representatives be Recalled at the Same Time?

Absolutely, yes!

Get out there and get involved locally. Knowing your neighbors, local business owners and the general geographic landscape of your district will give you an advantage when it comes time to gather signatures on a recall petition.

Always Proceed with Caution

Be careful.

There are far too many people out there looking to promote themselves, make a generous profit or even sabotage a recall effort. Build your leaderships teams around trusted individuals and maintain regular and secure communication internally.