Colo. 'Personhood' Amendment Fails To Qualify for Ballot

September 4, 2012 — The Colorado affiliate of Personhood USA gathered too few signatures to place an initiative on the November ballot asking whether the state should grant rights to fertilized eggs, Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler announced on Wednesday, the AP/Washington Post reports (Wyatt, AP/Washington Post, 8/29).

The measure sought to amend the state constitution to say that protections of life apply to "all human beings at any stage of development."

State officials conducted a line-by-line analysis of the 106,119 signatures submitted and rejected 23,873, which left the coalition short of the required 86,105 valid signatures.

Supporters said many of the signatures were rejected in error. Personhood Colorado has hired an election-law specialist to contest the count and has 30 days to file a challenge.

The proposed amendment is the third attempt to enact a personhood measure in Colorado since 2008 (Draper/Bartels, Denver Post, 8/30). The proposal was the nation's only pending personhood ballot measure for this fall, but a Personhood USA spokesperson said the group is planning initiatives for future years (AP/Washington Post, 8/29).