When voters in Colorado's Weld County head to the polls in November, they'll be asked to consider a proposal backed by several counties to form a new state called North Colorado.
Weld County commissioners unanimously voted Monday morning to place a 51st state secession initiative on the ballot, The Greeley Tribune reported.
Weld and other northeastern Colorado counties have expressed interest in seceding to become North Colorado. Weld, Logan, Sedgwick, Phillips, Washington and Kit Carson commissioners each set dates to vote on ballot initiatives for the 51st state.
Yuma and Cheyenne counties have given the OK to place the initiative on the ballot this November. Morgan County commissioners are waiting on a citizen initiative.
Commissioners have expressed concern that the needs of rural northeastern Colorado counties have been ignored by the state legislature in Denver.
Legislative efforts to crack down on energy drilling and gun laws have also been cited as prime reasons for the initiative, which would require votes in each Colorado county.
Weld County Commissioner William Garcia told KDVR.com that the concerns of residents in rural Colorado have been ignored for years and that voters are demanding change.
"They want to be heard. Policies being passed by the legislature in Denver are having negative impacts on the lives of rural Coloradans. This isn’t an ‘R’ versus ‘D’ issue; it’s much bigger than that,” he said.
Opponents of the proposal have mocked the initiative on Twitter, suggesting that the new state in northern Colorado be called names like “Weldistan”, “Tancredonia” and “Fracktopia.”
“It’s embarrassing for them, and it’s embarrassing for the people they represent,” Jason Bane, founder of a Colorado political blog told the station in June.
A new state would have to be approved by the state Legislature and the U.S. Congress, making the secession votes mostly symbolic.