‘Yes’ on Referendum O
Do you just love this year’s election ballot, crowded with 10 citizens’ initiatives to amend the state Constitution, not to mention legislative and local ballot measures?
If you do enjoy the increasingly long state ballots, then you should vote against Referendum O, which will appear somewhere near the middle of the lengthy ballot. However, if you believe it’s time to bring some rationality to the manner in which we amend our Constitution, then you should vote “Yes” on Referendum O and urge everyone you know to do so as well.
Referendum O retains citizens’ rights to seek constitutional amendments. But it makes it more difficult to do. It increases the number of signatures required to 6 percent of the number of people who cast ballots in the most recent gubernatorial election. Additionally, at least 8 percent of the signatures collected must come from each of the state’s seven congressional districts. Signature collectors couldn’t simply camp out at shopping malls in the Denver metro area to obtain signatures.
While the process of getting a constitutional amendment on the ballot would become more difficult, it would be easier for citizens to get measures on the ballot that simply change state statutes, not the Constitution.
And, to ensure those citizens’ measures aren’t simply overturned by the Legislature, Referendum O would require a two-thirds vote of lawmakers to overturn or amend citizens statutory changes for the first five years after the ballot measure is passed.
Referendum O is a sensible proposal to reduce the number of Constitutional questions and the contradictory nature of differing amendments that has plagued the state in recent years.