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Case Name Warren v. Griswold VR-CO-0027
Docket / Court 20CV31077 ( State Court )
State/Territory Colorado
Case Type(s) Election/Voting Rights
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Case Summary
COVID-19 summary: A democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate who could not meet the signatures requirement due to the COVID-19 pandemic sought to an order to put her name on the primary ballot. On April 21, the trial court ruled in her favor, however, the decision was overruled by the Colorado ... read more >
COVID-19 summary: A democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate who could not meet the signatures requirement due to the COVID-19 pandemic sought to an order to put her name on the primary ballot. On April 21, the trial court ruled in her favor, however, the decision was overruled by the Colorado Supreme Court, which found that the “legislature alone has the authority to change the minimum signature requirements set out in the Election Code.”


On March 17, Michelle Ferrigno Warren, a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, filed an action against the Colorado Secretary of State in the Denver District Court, seeking a court order to put her name on the primary ballot. She argued that COVID-19, and the resulting state of emergency, prevented her from collecting the required 1500 signatures before the deadline of March 7. The plaintiff had collected 5383 signatures of the 10,500 required and had only collected enough signatures in one of the state’s districts. She further argued that she had demonstrated substantial compliance under the unprecedented circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The trial court ordered the plaintiff to be put on the June 30 Democratic primary ballot for U.S. Senate on April 21, finding that she had substantially complied with the signature threshold. The court found that a 50% threshold was reasonable, and that “strict adherence to the signature requirement for primary petitions must yield to this unprecedented public health emergency.”

The defendant appealed to the Colorado Supreme Court. On May 4, the Colorado Supreme Court held that the plaintiff did not collect the required signatures from each district and reversed the order of the district court. 462 P.3d 1081. They reasoned that the “legislature alone has the authority to change the minimum signature requirements set out in the Election Code.”

Averyn Lee - 06/14/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Voting
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Voting
Candidate qualifications
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) Colorado Secretary of State
Plaintiff Description A democratic candidate for the primary ballot
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se Unknown
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Unknown
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Filed 03/17/2020
Case Ongoing No reason to think so
Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Order Regarding Petition for Declaratory Relief
VR-CO-0027-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/21/2020
Source: State Court Website
Application for Review Pursuant to § 1-1-113(3), C.R.S. and Opening Brief
VR-CO-0027-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/24/2020
Source: State Court Website
Opinion (462 P.3d 1081)
VR-CO-0027-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 05/04/2020
Source: State Court Website
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Judges Baumann, Christopher J. Court not on record show/hide docs
VR-CO-0027-0003
Plaintiff's Lawyers Athanasiou, Joy F (Colorado) show/hide docs
VR-CO-0027-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Buckley, Emily B. (Colorado) show/hide docs
VR-CO-0027-0001 | VR-CO-0027-0002
Morrill, Leeann (Colorado) show/hide docs
VR-CO-0027-0001 | VR-CO-0027-0002
Patterson, Noah (Colorado) show/hide docs
VR-CO-0027-0001 | VR-CO-0027-0002
Weiser, Philip J. (Colorado) show/hide docs
VR-CO-0027-0001 | VR-CO-0027-0002
Other Lawyers Padden, Amy L. (Colorado) show/hide docs
VR-CO-0027-0002
Werge, Thomas E.M. (Colorado) show/hide docs
VR-CO-0027-0002

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