A group of northern Colorado counties are taking more steps toward establishing the 51st state: Two more countries will ask residents if they want to secede the Centennial State on a ballot this fall. Phillips and Weld counties are the fourth and fifth counties to put the question for a vote, following Cheyenne, Sedgwick, and Yuma.
Phillips and Weld county commissioners announced that they will place the question on the ballot, and both seem confident that residents will pass it. Weld County commissioner Sean Conway predicted locals will vote for secession by a 60–40 margin. Meanwhile, Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer of Phillips County said, “There are plenty [of residents] who told us we should vote Denver and Boulder off the island.”
The catalyst for the secessionist movement was launched after northern Colorado’s rural residents felt marginalized and ignored by the more-liberal part of the state. For example, the state’s General Assembly in Denver passed controversial energy and gun-control legislation disliked by many northern residents.
Four more counties are set to decide by the end of the month whether they will join the movement to secede. Logan and Washington counties are expected to make a decision later today, Kit Carson County will settle the question tomorrow, and Morgan County has set an August 26 deadline.
If voters go for secession this fall, it will be the first step in what would be a long journey in eventually creating a new state. Both Colorado’s state legislature and the U.S. Congress would need to approve the partition proposal. Four states have been established from existing states: Kentucky (from Virginia), Maine (from Massachusetts), Vermont (from New Hampshire and New York), and West Virginia (from Virginia).