The coronavirus has impacted many aspects of how Americans go about their daily lives. But it’s also impacting those trying to participate in the democratic process.
Due Date Too Late is a Colorado organization that has been working towards including a measure on the Colorado general election ballot that would end late-term abortion in the state. Currently, Colorado is one of only seven states in the U.S. which allows for legal abortions up until birth. According to the Charlotte Lozier Institute, in 2018 there were 323 abortions performed in Colorado at 21 weeks or later.
Due Date Too Late was required to submit 124,632 valid signatures from Coloradans by March 4 in order to get their measure on the general election ballot. On March 3, the organization submitted 137,624 signatures of which 114,647 were counted as valid.
Due Date Too Late now has a 15-day “cure” period with which to collect the needed 9,985 extra signatures to meet the required threshold. But due to the quarantine, the organization has been unable to begin collecting the extra signatures it needs, which was supposed to begin on April 4.
In an email to supporters, Due Date Too Late said, “Initiative 120’s legal counsel notified us that a Denver District Court judge granted our request to again delay the start of our cure period circulation until at least May 15 because of the continued partial restrictions related to the COVID-19 virus.”
“We are pleased with the extra time to ensure the safety of petition volunteers as well as signers, and we continue to have other matters pending before the court seeking other types of relief for the initiative. Please be prayerful about additional good outcomes,” the organization requested of its supporters.
The petition has seen significant bipartisan support, with a sample indicating that “there were 12.5% Democrat; 26.3% unaffiliated; and 61.2% Republican signers.”
In Michigan, Wayne Brown is attempting to challenge Rep. Rashida Talib., D-Mich., and he needs to collect 3,000 valid signatures by July 19th from the citizens of his district to get his name on the general election ballot. His task has been made more difficult due to the coronavirus quarantine.
To collect the signatures, Brown is going door-to-door while maintaining social distancing. In an interview with The Daily Citizen, Brown noted that there are ways, albeit difficult ways, to provide citizens the chance to sign his petition even during the lockdown. “I would go knock on the door and put the petition on the porch and back up. Then they open the door, grab it, shut the door, sign it, and then they put it back on the porch and when they shut door, I grab it. It’s a crazy thing,” Brown explained.
“I want to abide by the laws, but there is nothing so concrete that addresses what I’m doing,” Brown stated. He explained that he’s been in contact with both Michigan and party officials to ensure he’s doing everything by the book.
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