Voters remove slavery exemption from state Constitution
November 6, 2018
Slavery is officially prohibited under all circumstances after voters approved a ballot measure to remove the exception to allow slavery or indentured servitude in the case of punishment for a crime.
The majority of voters, 66 percent, voted to remove the exemption from the Colorado Constitution.
Supporters said it was important to remove the exception for moral and ethical reasons. Though the measure would not have a direct impact on prison reform, proponents believe the change reflects the state's values of freedom and equality and the vote is important symbolically.
Opponents said that Amendment A was redundant and unnecessary. The state already pays its prisoners 33 cents to $2.49 per day depending on the assignment.
Colorado had a similar measure, Amendment T, on the ballot in 2016, which narrowly failed with 50 percent of voters against the change. Supporters say that they believe that was due to confusing ballot language.
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Both the 2016 Amendment T and Amendment A passed unanimously in the legislature, according to Ballotpedia.