A petition pushing for Weld County to secede from Colorado and join Wyoming may become a decision made by a statewide vote soon.
Last month, a group in Weld County announced a push to secede from Colorado and become a part of Wyoming.
Organizers opened a fundraiser and asked for support to obtain signatures to place a measure on the upcoming November election ballot. According to the Weld County, Wyoming, campaign site, voters in Weld County would be able to vote "as to whether to instruct Weld County Commissioners to engage and explore the annexation of Weld County with the State of Wyoming's Legislature."
After raising money and gaining popularity with the movement, organizers soon found they've been going at it wrong. According to law, annexing a county from another state is not as simple as a county-wide vote. The Colorado Constitution upholds state boundaries, and an Article 1 amendment would have to be voted on. To change state boundaries, Colorado voters will have to vote in a statewide election.
Weld County, Wyoming, organizers posted an update to their Facebook page on February 18, announcing the change and their next steps.
All of us at the Weld County, WY movement got some news on how to proceed with the annex of Weld County into Wyoming....Posted by Weld County, WY on Thursday, February 18, 2021
"This went from a petition in Weld County to a statewide vote," the post read. "There are many different ways we can approach this. The team and I have to wrap our heads around this over the next few days. We are hoping to have a new foundation and direction in the next few weeks."
The idea to annex Weld County into Wyoming started eight years ago when a movement to create a 51st state out of 11 rural Colorado counties gained momentum. The campaign failed, but the mindset of those looking to secede from the state remained. In 2019, Weld County, Wyoming, organizer Christopher Richards read a Denver Post opinion about regulating the oil and gas industries, and he started thinking about the failed 2013 secession movement.
Richards initially thought the opinion piece was outlandish, but the idea of Weld County leaving Colorado stayed in his mind. Just over a year ago, he made a Facebook page for his new movement idea to gauge interest and his page followers exploded nearly overnight, with many disgruntled Weld County residents.
As of February 19, the Weld County, Wyoming, Facebook page has more than 5,800 likes and continues to grow. The movement has gained a lot of media attention in both Colorado and Wyoming already, and both states' governments have commented on the proposed change. Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon showed enthusiasm toward welcoming the county to his state. In contrast, Colorado Governor Jared Polis expressed the opposite.
What are your thoughts on the push to annex Weld County to Wyoming? Let us know in the comments.