Twenty primary candidates turn in petition signatures

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                                                                          MEDIA CONTACT: (303) 860-6903

                                                                                      Lynn Bartels



Secretary of State Wayne Williams: 20 candidates turn in petitions for June 28 primary ballot

DENVER, April 5, 2016 -- Twenty candidates -- including four Republicans running for the U.S. Senate -- have turned in signature petitions in an attempt to get on the June 28 primary ballot.

Collecting signatures is one way of getting on the ballot; the other is going through an assembly. In addition to the Senate hopefuls, the other candidates who collected signatures from voters in their party and their district are running for district attorney, the University of Colorado Board of Regents and the Colorado legislature.

Candidates were allowed to begin collecting signatures on Feb. 1 after getting their petition formats approved by the Colorado Secretary of State. The petitions were due back to the office by 5 p.m. Monday.

The elections staff must complete the signature verification process by late April when primary ballots are set. Every single signature is checked.

"We take our responsibility very seriously," Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams said. "We want to ensure everyone who turned in sufficient signatures is on the ballot so Colorado voters can make their choices."

The amount of valid voter signatures candidates must gather  from members of their party depends on the office they are seeking. U.S. Senate candidates must collect 10,500 signatures -- 1,500 from each of the state's seven congressional districts.

The Senate candidates who are trying to get on the ballot through the signature route are Colorado Springs businessman Robert Blaha, former Aurora City Councilman Ryan Frazier, former Colorado State University athletic director Jack Graham and former state Rep. John Keyser of Jefferson County.  The other Republicans vying for a chance to take on Democratic U.S. Senate. Michael Bennet in November are going through the Colorado Republican Party Assembly in Colorado Springs on Saturday. 

The order that candidates turn in their petitions is important because voters can only sign one petition per race. Graham was the first to turn in signatures, followed by Keyser, Blaha and Frazier. If a voter signed both Graham's and Blaha's petitions, for example, the signature would count for Graham but not for Blaha.

So far, two legislative candidates, El Paso County Republicans Bob Gardner and Larry Liston, have already been informed they collected enough signatures and are on the primary ballot.

Some candidates who initially were approved to collect signatures have since dropped out or made the ballot at their assembly so they didn't need signatures.