Jena Griswold

Democrat Jena Griswold talks with a reporter about her plans as Colorado's secretary of state at a Denver restaurant on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, two days after she became the first-ever Democratic woman elected to the office. 

The Secretary of State's Office is moving ahead with new rules to allow people to sign petitions by mail or email, an exception granted by order of Gov. Jared Polis.

The governor signed executive orders on May 15 related to the coronavirus pandemic, relieving those collecting petitions signatures to do so in-person.

To get on the ballot, petitioners need at least 124,632 signatures from registered voters before Aug. 3, a tall order given the limits of in-person contact. The governor's actions gave new life to a raft of potential ballot measures, and he's being sued and criticized by state business organizations who say he is overstepping his constitutional limits on executive authority.

Polis won the first round in Denver District Court last week, but the decision is being appealed.

In a press release Saturday, Secretary of State Jena Griswold said she's moving ahead to draft the rules.

Those hoping to get on the ballot will be allowed to mail or email supporters a form approved by the Secretary of State’s Office, which can be printed out and signed, as well as witnessed by someone else, and then returned with an image of the signed form.

“This country’s core promise is government ‘by and for the people,' " she said in a statement. "That’s why it’s so important that Coloradans have access to participating in our democracy. I am proud to release new procedures that protect this fundamental right in these unprecedented times.

"These procedures will allow Coloradans to exercise their right to petition by using email and mail to collect signatures for ballot access.”

The Secretary of State's Office said in-person petition gathering will still be allowed, but those doing so should follow the guidance of health officials.

For the complete rules are available by clicking here.

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