For the first time since the Civil War, residents in five counties voted to have their elected officials pursue the possibility of forming a 51st state.
The issue was on the ballot in 11 counties, but at the end of the night slightly less than half voted for the measure. Philips, Cheyenne, Kit Carson, Yuma and Washington County voted in favor of the amendment, while Weld, Logan, Elbert, Sedgwick, Lincoln and Moffat counties voted against the measures.
“This is an important moment for liberty,” Jeffrey Hare, founder of the 51st state initiative said. “We have five counties in this state that have said they want to exercise their rights under the state constitution and secede.”
Colorado has a very strong statement in its constitution saying the people have the right to abolish the government anytime they feel it is necessary. Article II of the Colorado constitution says:
“The people of this state have the sole and exclusive right of governing themselves, as a free, sovereign and independent state; and to alter and abolish their constitution and form of government whenever they may deem it necessary to their safety and happiness, provided, such change be not repugnant to the constitution of the United States.”
The wording is particularly significant when one considers that Colorado became a state in 1876, which is 11 years after the end of the Civil War.
With the passage of the ballot measures in the five counties, for the second time this year, residents have exercised portions of their constitution for the first time since its ratification.
Earlier this year, residents utilized Article XXI, which authorized the recall from office of two Democratic state senators who voted in favor of a series of gun control laws that were among the strictest in the nation. The recall was the first time the constitutional provision had ever been utilized.