Anti-Affirmative Action Signatures Challenged

Jesus the Lord God is not registered to vote in the state of Colorado. The King of Kings is just one of an estimated 69,000 signatures that a group opposing Colorado’s proposed anti-affirmative action amendment is challenging to keep the measure off of the November ballot.

“Jesus signed the petition twice,” reports Michelle Dally, speaking on behalf of “Vote No on 46,” so named after the proposed amendment’s assigned number.

Asked why she believed that “Jesus” was not a legitimate signatory, Dally reported that the person who signed the name “Jesus the Lord God,” listed his address as “New Wave Earth Peace,” in the city of “Homeless Help Provide.”

The “Vote No on 46” group today filed a formal legal challenge with the Secretary of State’s office, asserting that tens of thousands of signatures that were submitted by a group organized by Californian Ward Connerly either don’t live in Colorado, or are not registered to vote. The group includes activists from Unity Colorado, as well as attorneys from the firm Isaacson Rosenbaum and the Denver-based consulting company RBI Strategies, Dally says.

Last month Connerly’s group submitted 128,044 signatures to secretary of state Mike Coffman, of which 76,047 had to be valid registered voters in Colorado. Dally said “Vote No on 46” activists subsequently obtained the petitions and hired a company to compare each name with a database of registered voters in Colorado.

In addition to fake names and unregistered voters, the group found duplicate signatures, ineligible circulators and petitions that were certified by notaries whose commissions had expired, she said.

More than 65,000 signatures are being challenged, meaning if the  “Vote No on 46” challenge is successful, Connerly and his supporters will fall well short of the Colorado statutory requirement.

Connerly’s group, which is pushing similar proposals to outlaw affirmative action programs in three other states this year, has also come under fire for allowing petition circulators to purposely mislead petition signers, claiming that the measure would “end preferential treatment in the workplace” and “promote equality in the workplace.”

In truth, the measure would end remaining affirmative action programs that benefit women and minorities. Connerly, a California millionaire, has been successful in getting voters in California, Michigan and Washington state to pass similar measures.

Earlier this month, Connerly’s group withdrew petitions in Oklahoma, after determining that they didn’t have enough valid signatures to move forward.

In Colorado, the Secretary of State has 30 days to respond to the challenge by the “Vote No on 46” group.

Click here for a complete package of Colorado Confidential stories detailing Connerly’s efforts in Colorado and elsewhere, including reports by petition-signers who have filed complaints that they were misled to the Secretary of State.

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Cara Degette

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