Referendum C appeared headed for a convincing statewide win late Tuesday, and its companion, Referendum D, was in a race that was too tight to call.
The story here was far different.
If Moffat County alone were deciding Referendum C, the measure would have lost, 55.3 percent to 44.7 percent, with 1,823 voters against the measure and 1,472 for it, according complete, unofficial returns.
Moffat County voters also rejected Referendum D, 60 percent to 40 percent, with 1,977 against the measure and 1,316 for it.
Locally and across the state, where taxpayers impose some of the strictest government spending caps, campaigning for and against C and D was fierce.
Without the measures, the state would be forced to slash funding for health care, universities and community colleges, supporters said.
Locally, some residents said they worried defeat of C and D would force the closure of Northwestern Colorado Community College's Craig campus, where state funding cuts already are taking a toll. College officials said all the talk about the campus closure was merely rumor.
Evelyn Tileston, founder and director of the Independent Life Center, said she worried the failure of C and D would drastically cut services for people with disabilities.
"I think at least with the passage of C and D, we can have firm assurance that the level of funding for services for people with disabilities will not go down, and we can hope it might go up," Tileston said. "I was scared we were going to have to start cutting services."
Opponents of the measures scoffed at assertions of a state budget crisis and said the measures would take an already fat Colorado government off its spending diet.
Referendum C would allow the state to keep an estimated $3.7 billion during five years that otherwise would be refunded to taxpayers under the Taxpayers Bill of Rights.
Referendum D would allow the state to borrow as much as $2.1 billion for roads, school maintenance, pensions and other projects. Referendum D required the passage of C.
Craig resident John Kinkaid voted against C and D.
"I guess it came down to seeing government be as efficient and effective as possible and for growth to be controlled," Kinkaid said.