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Boulder City Council in a Tuesday study session will learn how to use the new online petitioning software created by Runbeck that the city says will be ready in January and available for the 2021 election cycle.

Work on the software has been in process since December when the city opted to contract with the Arizona-based election services company after a request for proposals. The decision follows a November 2018 election in which Boulder voters approved a charter amendment allowing for electronic endorsement of initiative petitions.

City staff maintain Runbeck was the best option, although some Boulder residents and members of the city’s former campaign finance working group pushed for MapLight, a nonprofit that develops software for nonprofits and governments.

According to previous reporting by the Camera, MapLight produced two “open source” systems, in which the programming code for the petitioning software could have been accessed and modified in a

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