Gov. Jared Polis recall initiative nears final signature deadline
Editor’s note: This report has been edited to reflect Deakins hopes the recall petition is successful.
The deadline for Moffat County residents to get their petitions notarized and turned in to recall Gov. Jared Polis is looming at the end of this week.
According to both of Moffat County’s directors for the recall initiative, the deadline for Moffat County residents to turn in their petitions is Friday, Aug. 30.
“They need to be notarized and then they need to be turned into Cornerstone Realty by noon Friday,” said Pam Foster, one of two local county directors.
Foster said many of those who have already turned in their petitions name three things as reasons for wanting to recall Gov. Polis:
• SB 181, which allows local governments to further regulate oil and gas and other anti-coal legislation aimed at closing coal-fired power plants like the one at Craig Station
• The red flag gun bill signed by the governor, which would allow someone’s firearms to be confiscated through civil court
• The national popular vote bill signed by the governor that would give Colorado’s electoral votes during a presidential election to the winner of the national popular vote.
“For rural Colorado, he doesn’t seem to show a great concern for what our issues are,” Foster said.
Shandy Deakins is Moffat County’s other director of the recall initiative. She said Polis thwarted the will of state voters when he signed SB 181.
“We voted that down,” Deakins said of voters who killed the original ballot initiative to regulate oil and gas. “The voters voted that down and he overturned it. That’s not representing the population of the state of Colorado.”
Though Polis is the nation’s first openly gay governor, Deakins said many parents have approached her to sign the recall petition after finding out Polis signed sexual education curriculum that includes instruction for lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students.
“They’re just finding out about this,” Deakins said. “…It’s repulsive.”
Deakins said she was tired of watching from the sidelines and wanted to organize and move others to action.
“We gotta get people out to vote,” Deakins said. “That’s how Polis got in. 65.5 percent of eligible Coloradans either voted against or did not vote for this governor.”
John Williams, a volunteer with the recall effort in Moffat County, said apathetic voters essentially elected Polis.
“If we didn’t have so much apathy, we wouldn’t be having to do this recall in the first place,” Williams said.
Deakins said they don’t have a total tally yet of the number of Moffat County residents who’ve signed to recall Gov. Polis.
“We really don’t have a firm number and won’t for a while,” Deakins said. “But we are collecting signatures every day.”
The group will be at Walmart from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday.
For more information if unable to attend, call Deakins at 970-824-9765 or Foster at 970-846-8245.
“If they want to sign, we will make arrangements to get their signatures before Friday,” Deakins said.
Deakins hopes their recall doesn’t fail, saying their initiative to collect 631,266 valid signatures from registered Colorado voters has made a major impact across the state.
“At least we made a statement,” Deakins said. “Every county is working their tails off. It’s not just the Western Slope. We’re not the only ones upset. They’re collecting signatures in Denver and people are signing. I hope this doesn’t fail, but if it does, we made a pretty bold statement.”
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For nearly 40 years, Jonathan Herring has pursued his passion of education as a teacher, administrator, and principal in bigger cities such as Kansas City and Las Vegas.