'N. Colo.' Secession? What a Split Vote Means for '51st State'

By Aditi Mukherji, JD on November 11, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Ever heard of North Colorado? Well, someday you just might. A recent secession vote thwarted a group's efforts to secede from Colorado and form "North Colorado," the country's would-be 51st state.

Sure, we love to threaten secession when politics (or elections) don't go our way. But is it actually possible to secede?

Welcome to North Colorado

Five rural counties on Colorado's Eastern Plains voted in favor of secession, reports The Huffington Post.

The question to voters: "[s]hall the Board of County Commissioners of __ County, in concert with the county commissioners of other Colorado counties, pursue becoming the 51st state of the United States of America?"

Citing a cultural divide with the state's urban population, the initiative was spurred into action by new laws recently passed by the Democratic-controlled legislature, including gun control, the curbing of perceived cruel treatment of livestock, expanded regulation of oil and gas production, an increase in renewable energy standards in rural areas, and civil unions.

Because the conservative prairie towns can't outvote the metropolitan areas anymore, the rural areas felt they no longer had a voice. But is secession a viable option to end the cultural divide?

How to Secede

For the five counties that approved the idea of secession, sealing the deal will be nearly impossible. Not surprisingly, secession entails an incredibly lengthy process that involves getting the "OK" from several governmental levels:

  • Step one: Approval by voters in each county.
  • Step two: Approval by the state legislature.
  • Step three: Approval by the governor.
  • Step four: Approval by both houses of the U.S. Congress.

As you can see, for the counties whose voters approved of secession plans, the rural road to freedom from Colorado is a long one.

Successful Secessions

It's time for the backers of North Colorado to get serious. If y'all want to secede, start a civil war! After all, it was during the upheaval of the Civil War when the last successful secession occurred: that of West Virginia in 1863.

For additional inspiration, the "presidents" of NoCo may want to channel states like Vermont, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Maine. Those states successfully petitioned for statehood for reasons based on cultural divides, reports HuffPo.

Get your muskets ready, NoCo -- freedom is on the way! If not, try a shootout with tumbleweed?

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