Wake-Up Call: An arrested development in deputy sheriffs' ballot pushes -- extraterrestrials!

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Sheriff's deputies have run into a roadblock in their push to get an initiative on the Denver ballot: the Denver Elections Division has determined that more than half of the almost 60,000 signatures on initiative petitions were invalid.

The deputies need 41,666 valid signatures to put the measure, which would amend the city charter to give them more power to arrest (and collect bigger paychecks), on a special February ballot; the deputies have until November 12 to fix the problem.

In the meantime, though, the obstacle in the deputies' patch could detour Jeff Peckman, who was hoping to piggyback his own ballot measure, intended to establish an Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission, onto the deputies's special election. But right now, it looks like ET could have to go home...at least for another nine months.

Earlier this month, Peckman learned that he, too, didn't have enough valid signatures on the ballots he'd turned in to the Denver Elections Commission on September 4 for a vote that would require Denver to form the commission -- the better to prepare the city for welcoming those much-more-desirable aliens. Peckman, who'd need less than 4,000 valid signatures to piggyback on an already scheduled election, collected replacement names -- but if the sheriff's deputies don't get their measure on a February ballot, Peckman's push will have to wait.

"When we get certified, 25 days after the extra signatures are turned in by next Monday," Peckman explains, "then we would automatically be placed on the next regularly scheduled election. And that would be the August primary. Had the sheriff's charter amendment gotten enough signatures, or if there is a court action that results in the sheriff's charter amendment getting certified for February, then we would still be grouped with them in February as the next election after November 3."

So right now, it looks like Peckman's proposal will be on the August primary ballot. Since that will also feature several contested state races, expect an out-of-this-world campaign season!

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