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Colorado Term Limits, Referendum A (2002)

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The Colorado Term Limits Referendum, also known as Referendum A, was on the November 5, 2002 ballot in Colorado as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was defeated. The amendment would have eliminated term limits for elected district attorneys.[1]

Election results

Colorado Referendum A (2002)
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No847,60264.73%
Yes 461,848 35.27%

Election results via: Colorado Secretary of State (P.144-155)

Text of measure

The language appeared on the ballot as:[1]

This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.

An amendment to the constitution of the state of Colorado, exempting district attorneys from constitutional term limits.

Background

The following background information on Referendum A was provided in the state Blue Book analysis:[2]

This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.

Term limits. Colorado has term limits for elected state and local officials. The Colorado Constitution limits the length of office for the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state treasurer, and attorney general to two consecutive four-year terms. Members of the Colorado legislature may serve up to four consecutive two-year terms in the House of Representatives and two consecutive four-year terms in the Senate. Members of the State Board of Education and the University of Colorado Board of Regents are limited to two consecutive six-year terms.

The maximum term of office for local elected officials is two consecutive terms. Although not expressly stated in the Constitution, the Colorado Attorney General interprets the limits on terms of local elected officials to also apply to elected district attorneys. The Colorado Constitution allows the voters of a political subdivision to eliminate or change the term limits for a local official. However, the Colorado Secretary of State determined that only the state legislature can put a proposal before the voters of a judicial district to alter term limits for that district. District attorney term limits can also be altered through a constitutional amendment. This proposal amends the Constitution to repeal term limits for district attorneys.

District attorneys. Colorado is divided into 22 judicial districts. The voters in each judicial district elect one district attorney who is responsible for the prosecution of criminal cases in that district. The district attorney determines which crimes to prosecute and recommends a penalty to the court. The district attorney also provides legal advice to police officers, assists in preparing search warrants, advises grand jury investigations, and may defend the counties of the district in court. In addition, the district attorney oversees an office of deputy district attorneys and support staff and prepares and administers a budget for the office. The Colorado Constitution requires a district attorney to be a licensed attorney for at least five years prior to being elected and to be a resident of the district throughout his or her term in office. A district attorney's term of office is four years.

See also

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