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Colorado Pro-Choice Group Has Enough Signatures to Put Abortion on the Ballot

A Colorado group that wants to enshrine the right to an abortion in the state Constitution claims that it has gathered over 225,000 signatures on a petition to put the issue to a vote. They need only 124,238 to get it on the ballot. Groups trying to get something on the ballot always try for far more than they need because many of the signatures may later prove to be from people other than registered Colorado voters.

Abortion is already legal in Colorado and the Democrats have the state trifecta there, so if this initiative passes, nothing will change immediately. Still, by putting this in the state Constitution, a future Republican-controlled state legislature could not pass a law banning the procedure. It would also override a 1984 measure that prohibits health insurance from covering abortion care for public employees and people on insurance.

Democrats often try to get abortion measures on the ballot in the hope of getting young people to the polling place to vote for candidates. That is less of an issue in Colorado since there are no races this year for governor or senator. Also, six of the eight congressional districts are so gerrymandered as to be nearly unwinnable by one of the parties. However, Rep. Yadira Caraveo (D-CO) in CO-08 is in a district with a PVI of EVEN, so a higher turnout of young voters could help her hang onto her seat. And who knows what might happen in CO-03, the R+7 district that Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) is fleeing. (V)

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