Raise the Bar: Colorado voters choose to make it harder to amend the constitution

Colorado voters had to make decisions on nine statewide ballot measures this year, six of them constitutional amendments. This might be the last time we vote on so many amendments.

Amendment 71 makes it harder to amend the constitution in Colorado, and it passed with 57 percent of the vote.

From now on, to make it on the ballot, supporters of a constitutional amendment will need to get signatures from 2 percent of the registered voters in every state senate district in the state just to make it on the ballot. And they’ll need 55 percent of the vote to pass a constitutional amendment.

Amendment 71 had significant backing from oil and gas interests who don’t want to see further attempts to amend the constitution to limit fracking. It also had support from many current and former elected officials of both parties and many business interests.

The opposition included both liberal and conservative advocacy organizations who wanted to retain the ability to use the ballot to advance their causes.

Erica Meltzer

Author: Erica Meltzer

Erica Meltzer covers government and politics. She's worked for newspapers in Colorado, Arizona and Illinois and once won a First Amendment Award by showing up in the wrong place at the wrong time. She served in the Peace Corps in Paraguay and can swear fluently in Guarani. She gets emotional about public libraries. Contact Erica Meltzer at 303-502-2802, emeltzer@denverite.com or @meltzere.