DENVER – Colorado voters on Tuesday passed an amendment that will require any proposed amendment to the state constitution be signed off on by voters in each of the state’s 35 Senate districts.
The measure, Amendment 71, passed with 57 percent approval as of 12:22 a.m. Wednesday, when 73 percent of state votes had been reported.
Instead of being able to collect the required number of signatures from anywhere in the state, proponents of a measure to add a constitutional amendment will have to get signatures from at least 2 percent of the total number of registered voters in each of Colorado’s 35 Senate districts.
For instance, District 35 is comprised of 16 counties in southeastern Colorado and has 88,962 registered voters. Under an approved Amendment 71, 1,779 signatures would have to be gathered on a ballot drive and approved for the measure to go on November’s ballot.
The amendment won’t change the process for drives to change state statutes, only the constitution.
Currently, any constitutional amendment approved by 50 percent, plus one vote, of voters in an election will become law.
But now that Amendment 71 has been approved, that threshold will be raised to require any constitutional amendment be approved by 55 percent of voters.
That change wouldn’t apply to the repeal of an amendment – only to changes to the constitution. In the case of a repeal, a simple majority vote would remain the threshold for approval.