51st state? Colorado county to vote on secession

Residents in Weld County, Colo., will vote this November to join eight other of the state’s counties and form America’s 51st state — Northern Colorado.

“It started very informally,” said Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway of how the issue was broached at a state meeting of county commissioners in recent weeks, according to the International Business Times. “There was a group of citizens who were and still are very frustrated with being ignored and politically disenfranchised by the political leadership in the state capitol.”

Mr. Conway said the citizen-driven effort at first seemed “a little out there,” the Business Times reported. But research showed the idea was viable.

Rural residents angered by the state’s recent renewable-energy law, as well as other contentious issues such as gun control and fracking, could provide the group with a fresh start, he suggested.

Mr. Conway cited other successful secessions in U.S. history such as Maine, Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia.

If the county referendum passes, it will go before the Colorado State Senate for vote. If it passes there, it heads to Congress for the final say.

“If the voters of those counties vote that way, one thing about democracy that you have to respect is the vote of the people,” said State House Speaker Mark Farrandino told the Coloradoan.

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