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October 1, 2008
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Referendums L, M, N and O deserve your support

Four items regarding the Colorado Constitution come in the form of referendums that will be decided by voters in the November elections.

They're called referendums because a two-thirds majority of the both the state House and Senate have "referred" them to the ballot. We encourage people to vote "yes" on all four. Here's why:

Referendum L: This is essentially a housekeeping item that would lower the minimum age to run for the state Legislature from 25 to 21. This law seems archaic to us, and if you're old enough to serve in the military, you should be old enough to serve in the Legislature. The law considers a 21-year-old person an adult, so it's foolish to say that an adult cannot run for office.

Referendum M: This is another housekeeping item that would essentially eliminate an obsolete provision of the constitution that dates back to 1876, when the document was adopted. The provision, which is not in use, essentially gives tax breaks to landowners who plant trees on their land. Vote "yes" on Referendum M since it would help unclutter the state constitution.

Referendum N: Like Referendum M, Referendum N seeks to eliminate language that was part of the original constitution. The passage of Referendum N would mean the elimination of language concerning the outdated ban on importing, manufacturing and selling tainted alcohol. This prohibition goes back to the days of snake oil and moonshine. Colorado has come along way when it comes to the business of booze, so such a ban is entirely unnecessary.

Referendum O: This one isn't as simple or clear-cut as the other referendums. Referendum O is two-pronged, as it aims to increase the number of signatures needed to place constitutional amendments on the ballot, and reduce the number required to take statutory initiatives to voters.

We support the passage of Referendum O because it would help make the state constitution more concrete; as it is too many constitutional amendments weigh down the ballot. While some argue that would deter grassroots efforts to place items on the ballot, we feel Referendum O offsets it by making it easier to bring statutory initiatives to voters.


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The Aspen Times Updated Oct 1, 2008 07:50AM Published Oct 1, 2008 01:22AM Copyright 2008 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.