For Immediate Release
Contact: Lauren Petrie: 720-663-0735, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tweet Calls into Question Objectivity of Secretary of State’s Office in Ballot Initiative Signature Count
Statement by Lauren Petrie, Rocky Mountain Organizing Director, Food & Water Watch
Denver—“We’ve been receiving media inquiries about this tweet from the communications director of the Colorado Secretary of State’s office regarding the recent delivery of required petition signatures to qualify two measures to curtail fracking in the state.
“We find it troubling that an employee of the government body tasked with fairly and objectively counting the signatures would publicly comment on the quality or quantity of the petitions before any official count could have been made. It has resulted in media coverage including headlines like, ‘Empty Petition Boxes Put Anti-Fracking Initiatives In Doubt,’ in which the spokesperson is again quoted.
“We’re unclear what the motive could possibly be in making such comments about the fullness of each box of petitions—which is a complete distraction and has no bearing on the numbers of signatures delivered. At this point, we question whether or not the Secretary of State’s office will engage in an honest and unbiased accounting of the signatures. If they do, they will find that we indeed have provided more than enough signatures to get on the ballot. Any other result at the end of the day should be called into question given these public statements from their spokesperson.
“This was a truly historic, and monumental effort as hundreds of dedicated and passionate volunteers from across the state pounded the pavement in a tireless effort to gather enough signatures over the past few months. And in the final days leading up to the delivery, many of us spent more than 14 hours per day petitioning, notarizing, and collecting petition packets from across the state on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday night, we pulled an all-nighter to process each packet for delivery the next day. Many of these same people hit the streets as early as 6:00 am on Monday to take advantage of every moment we had to continue gathering signatures until noon.
“To imply this effort is a publicity stunt before the signatures have been assessed is a major disservice to the people of this state who have worked so hard to participate in our democracy.”
Food & Water Watch champions healthy food and clean water for all. We stand up to corporations that put profits before people, and advocate for a democracy that improves people’s lives and protects our environment.