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Citing pandemic, Denver judge puts U.S. Senate candidate on ballot despite not signatures gathered

Michelle Ferrigno Warren given a reprieve from signature requirement
Colorado Election Day 2017: Find out where to vote or drop off your ballots
Posted at 11:35 PM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-22 01:35:41-04

In a surprising decision Tuesday, a Denver judge ordered that U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Ferrigno Warren must be placed on the June 30 primary ballot, despite falling well short of the Colorado Secretary of State’s usual signature requirement.

“Ms. Ferrigno Warren has substantially complied with the Election Code’s signature threshold, distribution and validity requirements,” District Judge Christopher J. Baumann wrote at the end of a 28-page decision.

The Secretary of State’s Office has not decided whether to appeal the decision, according to a spokesman. The office has three days to decide.

Warren, a Democrat, turned in 5,383 valid signatures March 17, far fewer than the 10,500 — 1,500 from each of Colorado’s seven congressional districts — traditionally required for U.S. Senate candidates. She filed a lawsuit that same day, alleging the coronavirus pandemic unfairly stunted signature-gathering.

Baumann’s ruling explains, in detail, the hardships Warren, her paid signature-gatherers and her unpaid volunteers encountered while filling petition pages. Two dozen signature-gatherers quit after a possible coronavirus exposure, he wrote.

Read more from our partners at The Denver Post.