Backer Of Amendment Removing Colorado Constitutional Slavery Reference Concedes

A backer of what appears to be a failed effort to remove a slavery reference from the state constitution is admitting defeat.

Democratic State Rep. Jovan Melton of Aurora said Friday the voters have spoken on Amendment T – which appears to have lost even though votes are still being counted. The latest results from the Colorado Secretary of State have the “No” votes leading, 50.35 percent to 49.65 percent – the vote margin as of Friday, Nov. 18 was 17,677.

Melton says voters were probably confused by the ballot language – something he hopes to address if the effort is revived two years from now.

“I think what would need to be done in 2018 is a much more rigorous education and make sure people understand it,” he said. “Or we need to revisit the language and see if there’s a way to make it less confusing to the voter.”

Melton also blames a mistrust of government for the defeat. Earlier in 2016, the state legislature voted unanimously in support of Melton’s bill, which put the measure on the ballot.