POLITICS
08/19/2013 05:34 pm ET Updated Aug 21, 2013

North Colorado 51st State Initiative Makes It Onto Weld County Ballot

To secede or not to secede from Colorado? That is the question that residents in Weld County will face in November after county commissioners voted unanimously Monday in favor of putting a 51st state initiative on the ballot, the Greeley Tribune reports.

The initiative, which calls for the creation of the state of North Colorado, has already made it onto the ballot in Cheyenne, Sedgwick and Yuma Counties. Logan, Phillips, Washington and Kit Carson Counties have also set dates to vote on the initiative.

“Si se puede -- yes, we can,” said Weld County Commission Chairman Bill Garcia, echoing one of President Barack Obama's campaign slogans, before commissioners voted on the initiative.

Several rural, predominantly Republican counties of north and and northeastern Colorado announced their plan to create a 51st state back in June. Supporters have cited a number of laws -- including gun control measures, an increase in renewable energy standards in rural areas, the curbing of perceived cruel treatment of livestock and expanded regulation of oil and gas production -- that the Democratically-controlled state legislature passed this year, as the impetus for the secession movement.

"Rural residents are now a disenfranchised minority of Colorado," Phillips County Administrator Randy Schafer told The Denver Post last month. "National and urban values and needs are trumping rural values and needs."

On the ballot, the initiative will read: "Shall the Board of County Commissioners of Weld County, in concert with the county commissioners of other Colorado counties, pursue becoming the 51st state of the United States of America?"

The vote, however, has been regarded as largely symbolic, since the new state would have to be approved by the state legislature, the governor and Congress.

“We had to do something that would grab Denver’s attention,” said Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway.

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