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Polis signs orders to allow petition-gathering by mail and email, after all

Petition signature gathering for ballot issues, which previous needed extensive face-to-face campaigns, will be able to include email and mail-in signatures.

DENVER — A day after his office suggested otherwise, Gov. Jared Polis announced Saturday that he's changing the rules to allow petition circulators to collect signatures remotely.

Polis signed three executive orders around petition gathering, one that authorizes the secretary of state to create temporary rules to allow people to receive and return petitions over mail and email, as well as "support safe in-person signature gathering." Polis also is temporarily suspending the requirement that signatures occur in the presence of a petition circulator while the emergency COVID-19 order is in place.

>The video above is Gov. Polis's update on Colorado's response to the COVID-19 pandemic on May 15.

RELATED: 'Not who died with COVID-19, but who died of COVID-19': Polis addresses questions about CDPHE death reports

“This is a challenging time for Colorado, but we must not sacrifice our democracy and the right of citizens to petition due to the pandemic," Polis said in a statement Saturday. "Protecting our democracy, access to the ballot and making sure citizens can qualify ballot measures and can qualify as candidates to run for office during this time is critical.

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