WELD COUNTY - Weld County, along with seven other northeastern Colorado counties, has decided to let voters weigh-in on whether they want to form a new state. The measure to break from Colorado will be on the November ballot.
If the issue wasn't divisive enough, the town of Erie is located in both Weld and Boulder counties. If voters decide in favor of a 51st state, the town will be even more divided.
"There are very passionate people on both sides," Erie resident Annie Jackson said.
Erie is at a crossroads, being pulled in different directions by two counties.
"A 51st state? That's an interesting concept. I'd like to see how this plays out," Weld County resident Bruce Smith said. "People in Weld County are independent people, and they do want to make their own way."
There are some big challenges in starting a new state government. People on both sides of the county line know this. They know the move may be more symbolic, but they want their voices heard.
"I think our whole country needs to take a stance against this type of encroachment on our whole society," Smith said.
While people may be partially divided, most folks are united in that they don't want to see Erie pulled apart.
"If Boulder wants to be Boulder, that's fine. Erie's is not Boulder," Smith said. "You stay on that side; we'll stay on that side, and let's be friends."
Weld County will go forward with the vote in the November election. However, a 51st state to be born out of northeastern Colorado remains extremely unlikely. It would have to be approved by the state legislature, as well as the U.S. Congress.
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