The movement ramped up over the summer as local officials in the rural counties began sharing their frustrations with the state legislature’s passage of firearm restrictions, oil and gas regulations, and renewable energy mandates.
“At the end of the day what people in a lot of the counties, particularly my county, tell me was ‘we recognize the problem, we think it is a problem, we need to find solutions to the problem.’ But this is not one solution that they think we should pursue,” said Commissioner Sean Conway of the Weld County Board. The measure in his county failed in a 56.3 percent to 43.6 percent vote.
Overall, 43,900 people supported secession, while 53,093 opposed it, translating roughly to a 45 percent to 55 percent vote.
While voters may have turned down the idea of seceding, Tuesday’s vote showed state legislators that they have to address the concerns of rural communities, Conway says.