Judge places Democratic U.S. Senate candidate who only collected half the necessary signatures on primary ballot | CraigDailyPress.com
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Judge places Democratic U.S. Senate candidate who only collected half the necessary signatures on primary ballot

Judge Christopher Brown ruled that the fact Michelle Ferrigno Warren was able to collect half the necessary signatures despite the outbreak of the new coronavirus suggests she has “‘significant modicum’ of support for her candidacy.”

Jesse Paul and John Frank / Colorado Sun
U.S. Sentate candidate Michelle Ferrigno Warren speaks to a voter a senate forum held at Centennial Middle School in Montrose Colo., Sunday Oct. 20, 2019.
William Woody / Special to the Colorado Sun

In a ruling that upends the Democratic U.S. Senate primary in Colorado, a Denver judge ruled Tuesday that a little-known candidate be placed on the June ballot despite only collecting half the necessary signatures to qualify for the election.

Denver District Court Judge Christopher Brown ruled that the fact Michelle Ferrigno Warren, an immigration activist and first-time candidate, was able to collect half the necessary signatures “suggests Ms. Ferrigno Warren has a ‘significant modicum’ of support for her candidacy.”

The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office ruled that Ferrigno Warren did not qualify for the ballot because she didn’t collect enough signatures. But she then filed a lawsuit arguing that the outbreak of the new coronavirus made it impossible for her to collect sufficient signatures — 1,500 from Democratic voters in each of Colorado’s seven congressional districts — before the deadline on March 17. 

Ferrigno Warren, a first-time candidate and immigration advocate who ran a modest campaign, collected 5,383 total valid signatures out of the 10,500 needed, and only collected enough signatures to qualify for the ballot in one of the state’s seven congressional districts. She needed to collect 1,500 signatures in each district, and in two districts only managed to get just 21% of the total needed.

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“In the court’s judgment, a 50% (statewide) threshold is a reasonable line to draw in this particular case as it strikes a balance between still requiring Ms. Ferrigno Warren to demonstrate significant public support and acknowledging that through no fault of her own Ms. Ferrigno Warren was forced to operate within an environment much more onerous to contacting (let alone persuading) potential electors to express that support,” Brown wrote in his ruling.

To read the rest of the Colorado Sun story, click here.


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