Semple et al. v. Williams

Case Movement

Case Details

  • Case Status:
  • Docket Number: 18-1123
  • Category: State Ballot Initiatives

In 2016, Coloradans approved Amendment 71 by an overwhelming margin—with more than 55 percent voting “Yes.” Amendment 71 imposes two new requirements on voter-initiated efforts to amend the Colorado Constitution. First, while initiative proponents must still gather a total number of signatures equal to five percent of the voters who cast ballots for the Colorado Secretary of State in the last general election in order to qualify a measure for the ballot, those signatures must be obtained from two percent of the registered voters in each of Colorado’s 35 equi-populous state senate districts.

The Law Center filed an amicus brief in support of Amendment 71 arguing that “This geographical distribution requirement is critical, as it ensures that proposed constitutional amendments receive support from voters across Colorado’s diverse regions. At least nine other states have similar geographic distribution requirements for gathering petition signatures…Amendment 71’s geographic distribution requirement helps to ensure that all Colorado voters can participate in changes to the state’s constitution, and it does so in a way that respects the Equal Protection Clause’s one-person, one-vote principle.