On a petition submitted by Aurora mayoral candidate Tiffany Grays at the end of August to get herself on the mayoral ballot, the name Jane Doe is listed fourteen times.
During an interview with Westword on Tuesday, October 8, in the lobby of the Aurora Municipal Center, Grays, who entered the mayoral race less than a week before a deadline to get on the ballot, initially admitted to adding the names herself.
"In order to meet the requirement, I had wrote in just Jane Doe, I think, ten to twelve times," said Grays, an IT professional and Aurora native.
But when questioned further about who added the signatures for Jane Doe, Grays changed her tune. "It was Jane Doe," she said. We asked her who Jane Doe is, to which she responded, "I don’t know. ... I didn’t ask for the ID. That wasn’t part of the requirement. The requirement was for me to watch" — not long before cutting off the interview.
According to the Colorado Secretary of State, no one named Jane Doe is registered to vote in Colorado. (Grays has denied admitting to writing in Jane Doe on ballots, so we've embedded the audio of the interview.)
Two Jane Does on the ballot petition listed as their address 111 North Street in Aurora. A search on Google Maps returns no results for such an address.
Even with the Jane Doe signatures, the Aurora clerk determined in September that Grays had not gotten the requisite hundred signatures to make the ballot. By September 3, the final date to submit ballot petitions, Grays had only 96 valid signatures, according to the clerk's office.
Grays is currently suing the City of Aurora following the clerk's decision to exclude her from the ballot. Her next court date is October 21, and even if the judge sides in her favor, because of the timing, her name won't be on ballots sent to voters.
Candidates Omar Montgomery, Mike Coffman, Ryan Frazier, Marsha Berzins and Renie Peterson all made the ballot for the November 5 election, and all participated in a debate at the Aurora Municipal Center Tuesday evening. Before the debate began and after her interview with Westword, Grays spoke to audience members from the front of the auditorium where the event was being held.
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"Hello, everybody, my name is Tiffany Grays, and I am running for mayor. Unfortunately, I won’t be participating in this forum tonight because the sponsors have voted me out. They have said because I’m a write-in candidate that I can’t participate and inform the community of my views. They have voted me out of this forum in similar fashion to the way the city has voted me out of having my name on that petition. This is why I'm running. This is why I’m doing what I’m doing, because of stuff like this," Grays said.
Kevin Hougen, head of the Aurora Chamber of Commerce, one of the sponsors of the debate, offered a rebuttal. "In thirty years, we’ve never allowed a write-in candidate to be on the televised debate, and that was the sponsor’s decision," Hougen said. "When she became a candidate, we said I'm sorry, you didn’t meet the hundred-signature count to get on the ballot."
Grays then offered some parting words.
"If you look on the sample ballot, there’s a space called write-in. So I’m on the ballot. Okay, so the fact that this is the decision being made is why we need to do something different. Do something different. Grays4aurora.org. I stand for accountability. I stand for change. And I stand for the people. So do something different."