Colorado anti-fracking activists were riding a high earlier this week, having submitted to the secretary of state petitions in support of placing anti-fracking initiatives on the November ballot. But reports from Denver are bringing those activists back down to earth as they may not have the required number of signatures to get on the ballot.
Lynn Bartels of the secretary of state’s office said there are usually five empty boxes left over after her office consolidates petitions, not 50 as delivered by the activists.
“It is unusual because other measures that were turned in, the petitions were scanned in by our staff and put back in their original boxes to be sent down to Pueblo to the state agency to be checked. And they maybe had five boxes left over. This was boxes and boxes and boxes. It may not mean anything but it may mean something,” Bartels said.
In an attempt to save face for the embarrassment, activists are lashing out at the secretary’s communications director, calling her “shameful.”
Lauren Petrie, the Rocky Mountain director of Food and Water Watch, a major contributor to the ballot measures’ campaign, said the group, Yes for Health and Safety over Fracking, knew going into the weekend they had well over 100,000 signatures but they kept going through Monday to capitalize on the time they had left. … “I think it’s kind of shameful the secretary of state is making accusations that we’re submitting” less than the required numbers, Petrie said.
104,000 Colorado jobs and $14.5 billion in economic activity are on the line, if activists succeed, Coloradans lose. Time will tell whether the activist’s efforts are successful, Bartel’s office has until Sept. 7 to validate the signatures before the initiatives make it on the November ballot.