You have full Initiative & Referendum rights. Citizens can pass laws they write or suspend a statute passed by the Legislature by collecting enough petition signatures to place the statute on the statewide ballot for a decision by the voters. Voters can also initiate constitutional amendments by Initiative.

Coalition for an Open & Accessible Initiative Process:

Independence Institute

Common Cause Colorado


See the results of a poll on support for statewide initiative & referendum here.

Grade: C+

Click here to view Colorado’s individual report in Of the People, By the People, For the People: A 2010 Report Card on Statewide Voter Initiative Rights.

State Balloting Process

How you can change Colorado’s government through ballot initiatives


The effort for I&R in Colorado was started by Dr. Persifor M. Cooke of
Denver in the mid-1890s. As secretary and president of the Colorado
Direct Legislation League, Cooke and the constitutional lawyer J. Warner
Mills of Denver fought for I&R from 1900 until 1910, when Governor John F.
Shafroth called a special session of the legislature to consider the issue… Read More

Ballot Qualifications & Schedule

Date Initiative language can be submitted to state for November 2010:

Signatures are tied to vote of which office: Secretary of State

Next Secretary of State election: 2010

Votes cast for Secretary of State in last election: 1,520,935

Net number of signatures required: 5% of votes cast for Secretary of State
in last election, for both statutes and amendments. (76,046 signatures)

Distribution Requirement: None

Circulation period: 6 months

Do circulators have to be residents: No

Date when signatures are due for certification: The petition must be filed
within 6 months from when the final language is set by the Title Board and
no later than 3 months before a statewide election.

Signature verification process: The Secretary of State verifies signatures by
a random sample procedure. Not less than five percent of the signatures,
and in no event fewer than 4,000 signatures, are to be verified. If the
sample indicates that the number of valid signatures is 90 percent or less
of the required total, the petition is deemed to have insufficient signatures.
If the valid signatures are found to be 110 percent or more of number
required, the petition is deemed sufficient. However, if the number of valid
signatures is found to be over 90 percent but less than 110 percent of the
required number, the law requires that each signature on the petition be

Single-subject restriction: Yes

Legislative tampering: The Legislature can repeal and amend an initiative
statute passed by the voters.

Excerpted from the Initiative & Referendum Almanac by M. Dane Waters.