DENVER (CBS4) – The Colorado Supreme Court has struck down the governor’s Executive Order allowing signatures to be gathered remotely, by mail or email, for initiatives on the ballot.

(credit: CBS)

Colorado’s Constitution requires circulators to be in the physical presence of the person who is signing the petition, but Gov. Polis suspended the requirement — citing the coronavirus public health emergency.

The court ruled the governor can’t suspend constitutional requirements during a declared emergency.

“While today’s decision is a blow to the power of the people of our state to petition, it is certainly convenient for certain groups or elected leaders have to deal with fewer ballot initiatives. It makes my life easier as Governor that there will be fewer curveballs coming our way, but sadly it’s at the cost of making it much harder and even dangerous from a public health perspective for activists on all sides to get their issues on the ballot for voters to decide.”

His office says it is reviewing the ruling as it “does not believe outdated process rules should interfere with Coloradans’ right to petition.”

In May, following the executive order announcement, Colorado Concern, a bi-partisan business coalition, and DU’s Chancellor Emeritus Dan Ritchie sued Polis, saying his actions were illegal and unconstitutional.