Personhood Colorado has filed suit against the state of Colorado for denying a slot on the 2012 ballot to another amendment (the third to be exact) seeking to establish “personhood” rights for fertilized eggs. Nonetheless, spokespeople for Personhood Colorado made it clear that they believed the actions of Secretary of State Scott Gessler were not malicious.
But the actual complaint sounds much less certain.
Rosalinda Lozano and Kevin Swanson filed a writ of mandamus complaint on behalf of the initiative, demanding an opportunity to appear on the ballot for either 2012 or 2014.
They say that secretary of state rejected the initiative even though the Personhood Coalition submitted more than the 86,105 signatures required by the state to appear on a statewide ballot.
For unknown reasons, Gessler allegedly struck the signatures of 23,873 people who signed the petition.
Coalition members say they acted immediately to replace the rejected signatures with those of legitimate voters, but Gessler thwarted them again by refusing to grant an extension past the Aug. 6 deadline.
“On September 11, 2012, the Secretary’s office informed plaintiffs that he was denying them any time to cure the insufficiency,” the complaint states.
Was Gessler determined to keep personhood off the ballot? And if so, why? According to Colorado Pols, a local political blog:
In 2010, “Personhood” proved quite harmful to defeated U.S. Senate candidate Ken Buck, who flip-flopped late in the campaign under pressure, helping ubiquitize the expression “Buckpedal.” …[W]ith Buck’s example as a guide, it’s easy to see why many Republicans would be just fine if “Personhood” did not make the ballot again. But since it probably will at this point, all of the questions about it, and the candidates who have backed it, are back on the table.
Now, in part because of Gessler, the questions don’t have to be asked.