Colo. 'Personhood' Amendment Cannot Appear on 2012 Ballot, Despite Legal Challenge

September 13, 2012 — The Colorado secretary of state's office on Tuesday said that a proposed "personhood" amendment will not appear on the 2012 ballot, regardless of legal action that its supporters have pledged to take, the Denver Post reports (Draper, Denver Post, 9/12).

The measure, which is sponsored by Personhood Colorado, seeks to amend the state constitution to say that protections of life apply to "all human beings at any stage of development."

Secretary of State Scott Gessler previously determined that the group gathered too few signatures to place the initiative on the November ballot. However, supporters of the amendment said many of the signatures were rejected in error and pledged to file a legal challenge (Women's Health Policy Report, 9/4).

The deadline for ballot certifications for this year's election was Monday. Even if a court rules in favor of Personhood Colorado, the measure could not be on the ballot until 2014, according to Andrew Cole, a spokesperson for the secretary of state. The group has up to 30 days from Gessler's Aug. 29 decision to file a challenge, he said.

Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains CEO Vicki Cowart said support for the personhood strategy is declining locally and nationally. She noted that similar efforts also failed this year in California, Florida, Nevada, Montana, Ohio and Oregon (Denver Post, 9/12).