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Catherine Lykken: Be informed

In the few weeks before July 11, there are apt to be petition signature gatherers around our community. They will be collecting your valuable signature, which may help put an initiative onto Colorado's November ballot.

It is important that you "Think Before You Ink" that petition. It is not good enough to sign just to put the issue on the ballot. You should only sign for issues that you think should be on the ballot. This is a time to be cautious when considering signing a petition.

There are two kinds of initiatives. One makes a statute or law that can be changed if necessary by the state Legislature. The other is a constitutional amendment that can be changed only by another vote of the people. Before you sign a petition, find out which kind of initiative it is for. 

Then ask a few more questions: Is the issue complex or confusing? Will those who vote on it know what they are really voting for? Will this be challenged in the courts?

If it is a constitutional amendment, should it be? If it is complicated or confusing, will there need to be changes made that only another vote of the people can take care of?

How will it be funded? Will it further complicate our budgeting process and/or take funds from other programs?

Who is behind/against this petition? The real sponsors and opponents can be found on the Secretary of State's Election Center website at http://www.sos.state.co.us, or call 303-894-2200. 

The League of Women Voters of Routt County urges you to "Think Before You Ink" and know what you are signing.

Catherine Lykken

League of Women Voters of Routt County