Residents of 11 Colorado counties will vote Tuesday on whether to secede and form the nation’s 51st state.
Proponents of the ballot measure say it is needed to give them a political voice. They say the state government, which is under control of Democrats, is ignoring the concerns of rural voters when passing new gun controls and energy mandates.
The ballot measure would only be a first step to secession. If passed, it would only allow counties to “pursue those [other] counties [in] becoming the 51st state.” The state legislature and Congress would also have to approve.
Seth Masket, a political science professor at the University of Denver, said political observers in the state mostly see the secession movement as a novelty without much chance of success.
“My impression is that this secession movement has drawn more attention from the national press than from local media,” he said.
The debate over secession is framed in rural vs. urban terms.
Weld County, located on the northeastern border of Colorado, is by far the most populated county — with more than 250,000 residents — to sign onto the measure.