Despite determining more than a third of the 215,000 gathered signatures as invalid, the Colorado Secretary of State’s office announced an initiative to forcibly introduce wolves onto the Colorado landscape will appear on the 2020 ballot.
“To be clear, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation strongly opposes the forced introduction of gray wolves to Colorado,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “We have witnessed 20 plus years of lies and litigation in the Northern Rockies concerning wolves. This Colorado effort is driven by the same groups using the same tactics to accomplish their agenda.”
“A forced introduction of wolves to Colorado would cost untold amounts of taxpayer dollars, redirect already limited wildlife management resources and would have a significant negative economic impact to the state,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “In Colorado, you are dealing with about a third of the land mass of the Northern Rockies’ states but almost double the human population. A forced reintroduction would trigger the potential for real issues in the state.”
To qualify for the ballot, the projected number of valid signatures, 124,632 in this case, must be greater than 110 percent of the total number required. Staffers with the Secretary of State’s office reviewed a five percent sample of the 215,370 submitted signatures. Of that random sampling number of 10,769, they determined 6,967 as valid but rejected 3,802 or 35.3 percent as invalid. Projecting those findings to the remaining 95 percent of total submitted signatures shows 76,037 submitted signatures to be invalid. However, staffers ruled an overall projected percentage of required valid signatures of 111.80 percent, or just 1.8 percent above the minimum verification threshold.
Go here to see a news release from the Colorado Secretary of State’s office including a mathematical breakdown of the verification process.
(Photo source: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation)