Colorado Obsolete Constitutional Provisions, Referendum B (2004)

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The Colorado Obsolete Constitutional Provisions Referendum, also known as Referendum B, was on the November 2, 2009 ballot in Colorado as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved. The measure removed obsolete provisions referring to the former office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. It also removed a provision referring to poor houses, which no longer existed in Colorado. The measure removed language referring to some one-time events and the language requiring a 30 day residence in Colorado for voting purposes.[1][2]

Election results

Colorado Referendum B (2004)
Approveda Yes 1,247,998 69.00%

Election Results via: Colorado Secretary of State

Text of measure

The language appeared on the ballot as:[1][2]

Amendments to articles IV, VII, and IX of the constitution of the state of Colorado, concerning the elimination of obsolete provisions of the state constitution.[3]


The following background information was provided on the state Blue Book:[2]

Obsolete provisions

A requirement that the Superintendent of Public Instruction serve as the state librarian is deleted because the superintendent position no longer exists. The Commissioner of Education replaced the Superintendent of Public Instruction in 1948. A provision concerning the eligibility of a person living in a poorhouse to vote or run for office is also deleted. Poorhouses, or publicly supported homes for the poor, no longer exist in Colorado.[3]

References to one-time events

The constitution required all agencies of state government to be divided among no more than 20 state departments by June 30, 1968. This requirement stemmed from a major reorganization of state government in the 1960s. The proposal removes the reference to June 30, 1968, but does not change the limit on the number of departments. The proposal also removes language regarding the expiration of terms for former State Board of Land Commissioners since they are no longer in office.[2][3]

Unconstitutional provision

The proposal strikes a requirement in one section of the constitution that citizens live in the state for three months before being eligible to vote and a requirement in another section that citizens live in the state for at least one year before being eligible to vote. The Colorado Supreme Court held in 1972 that voting is a fundamental right that cannot be limited by imposing a three-month residency requirement. The court based its ruling on a U.S. Supreme Court decision that a similar residency requirement violated the U.S. Constitution. State law currently establishes a 30-day residency requirement for voters for all elections.[3]

Argument For

The following argument in favor of Referendum B was provided in the state Blue Book:

1) The proposal continues an effort to update the constitution by deleting unconstitutional and outdated language. Unconstitutional language can be confusing and misleading to readers who do not know the language has been nullified by a court. Outdated language clutters the constitution.[3]

Argument Against

The following arguments against Referendum B was provided in the state Blue Book:

1) All provisions of the constitution have historical significance. Removing these provisions may diminish the historical character of the constitution and make research of constitutional provisions and state laws more difficult.[3]

See also

Suggest a link

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Colorado State Legislative Council, "Ballot History," accessed February 25, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Blue Book: Analysis of the 2004 Ballot Proposals," accessed January 8, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.