Colorado General Assembly Age Qualification, Referendum L (2008)

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The Colorado General Assembly Age Qualification Referendum, also known as Referendum L, was on the November 2008 ballot in Colorado as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was defeated. The measure would have lowered the age requirement for serving in the Colorado general assembly from 25 to 21 years of age.[1][2]

Election results

Colorado Referendum L (2008)
Defeatedd No1,162,29653.5%
Yes 1,010,896 46.5%

Election results via: The Colorado Secretary of State

Text of measure

The language appeared on the ballot as:[2][3]

An amendment to section 4 of article V of the constitution of the state of Colorado, concerning the ability of an elector of the state of Colorado who has attained the age of twenty-one years to serve as a member of the Colorado general assembly.[4]

Full text

The full text of the constitutional changes proposed by Referendum L were as follows:

SECTION 1. At the next election at which such question may be submitted, there shall be submitted to the registered electors of the state of Colorado, for their approval or rejection, the following amendment to the constitution of the state of Colorado, to wit:

Section 4 of article V of the constitution of the state of Colorado is amended to read:

Section 4. Qualifications of members. No person shall be a representative or senator who shall not have attained the age of twenty-five years BE AN ELECTOR OF THE STATE OF COLORADO AS PROVIDED BY LAW WHO HAS ATTAINED THE AGE OF TWENTY-ONE YEARS, who shall not be a citizen of the United States, and who shall not for at least twelve months next preceding his election, have resided within the territory included in the limits of the district in which he shall be chosen.

SECTION 2. Each elector voting at said election and desirous of voting for or against said amendment shall cast a vote as provided by law either "Yes" or "No" on the proposition: "AN AMENDMENT TO SECTION 4 OF ARTICLE V OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF COLORADO, CONCERNING THE ABILITY OF AN ELECTOR OF THE STATE OF COLORADO WHO HAS ATTAINED THE AGE OF TWENTY-ONE YEARS TO SERVE AS A MEMBER OF THE COLORADO GENERAL ASSEMBLY."

SECTION 3. The votes cast for the adoption or rejection of said amendment shall be canvassed and the result determined in the manner provided by law for the canvassing of votes for representatives in Congress, and if a majority of the electors voting on the question shall have voted "Yes," the said amendment shall become a part of the state constitution.[3][4]

Specific Provisions

If the measure had passed, it would have amended section 4 of article V of Colorado's constitution, lowering the age qualification for the Colorado General Assembly (House of Representatives and State Senate) to 21 years old. The proposed change to the state constitution would not have reduced the size of the state legislature, or changed other established features of the General Assembly. The referendum would have reduced only the age requirement from 25 to 21. This change would not have affected state or local government revenue or expenditures and the referendum was assessed as having no fiscal impact.



Sponsors of the measure included:

Supporters argued that people are legally considered adults at 21, and the age restriction is unnecessary. They further proposed that if voters did not want a 21-year-old serving in the legislature, they would not vote them into office. Some supporters also argued that the measure would encourage the next generation to participate in the political process.



Opponents argued that a 21-year-old lacks the maturity and does not have enough life or work experience to lead effectively. The current age requirement also aligns with other state and federal requirements.

See also

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