Opponents of Colorado Senate President John Morse on Monday turned in more than 16,000 signatures demanding the Democratic leader’s recall. That’s more than twice the number required to trigger a special election that’s expected to be fought behind the scenes by national interests on both sides of the gun control debate.
Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler has 15 days to certify that at least 7,178 of the signatures are valid for the recall election to proceed.
One of the main organizers of the effort told Denver’s 9News that she feels “very comfortable” meeting the threshold.
“With that much of a cushion, having half of them get tossed out, I’ve never seen that many be invalid,” Laura Carno, a political strategist, told the station.
Meanwhile, Morse and his supporters have charged that many of the signatures were gathered under false pretenses. The Denver Post reports that some of its readers said petitioners told them that Morse wanted to repeal Colorado’s “Make My Day” law, which immunizes homeowners from prosecution if they’re defending themselves against intruders.
In fact, Morse had proposed holding the owners, sellers and manufacturers of sporting rifles liable for any damage they cause, but he dropped the legislation before it could be voted on. Even a fellow Democrat called the proposal “absolutely nuts.”
Morse was the highest-profile Democrat in the state legislature supporting a wide range of gun control bills. Of seven bills that were introduced, five passed and will become law next month.
Morse can challenge the signatures in court, which he told 9News he was considering.
“Thousands of those signatures were obtained inappropriately,” Morse said. “Now, will we be able to prove that? We’ll have 15 days to figure that out. That’s going to be tricky.”