AGO 86-2.

Case Date:January 31, 1986
Colorado Attorney General Opinions 1986. AGO 86-2. January 31, 1986Department of Law Attorney General Opinion FORMAL OPINION of DUANE WOODARD Attorney General Opinion No. 86-2 AG Alpha No. LO LG AGAOS Morgan Smith Executive Director Department of Local Affairs 1313 Sherman Street, Room 518 Denver, Colorado 80203 RE: The constitutionality of statutory provisions which limit voting rights in the formation of a pest control district to certain district landowners and lessees.Dear Mr. Smith: This opinion letter is in response to your October 31, 1985 letter, in which you inquired whether the statute governing the formation of pest control districts is constitutional, because the statute limits the right to vote in the election for the formation of such a district, to certain owners or lessees of land in the proposed district. QUESTION PRESENTED AND CONCLUSION Your request for attorney general's opinion presents the question: Is the limitation of the right to vote in an election for the formation of a pest control district, to the owners of at least 5 acres of land and the lessees of at least 5 acres of public land, in the proposed district, imposed by section 35-5-104, C.R.S. (1984), clearly a violation of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the United States and Colorado Constitutions? 'I have concluded that the Colorado statutes governing pest control district formation and operation are within an exception to the "one person, one vote" constitutional standard which applies to general elections. The limitation of the franchise to certain landowners and lessees within a proposed pest control district is not unconstitutional per se, and the statute is presumed to be constitutional. Therefore, a board of county of commissioners should enforce the statute, unless no set of facts could reasonably be conceived of to justify it. ANALYSIS Colorado statutes, sections 25-5-101 to 123, C.R.S. (1984) (hereinafter "the Colorado Pest Control District Act"), provide for the establishment of pest control districts under the general supervision of Boards of County Commissioners, for the control and eradication of "noxious weeds, insect pests, or plant diseases injurious to agricultural crops, trees, fruits, or pasture." Section 35-5-104(1), C.R.S. (1984). A district is formed by a petition and election procedure. The petition...

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