At least six of 11 rural Colorado counties were voting against a symbolic effort to form a 51st state called North Colorado.
The unofficial "No" votes on Tuesday included Weld County, whose commissioners spearheaded the effort. They cited popular frustration with state leaders whom they claim neglect rural interests.
Colorado's Legislature and the U.S. Congress ultimately would have to approve any new state - something considered highly unlikely. But the movement's leaders claimed victory in attracting attention to their complaints.
Early returns suggested Cheyenne, Kit Carson, Phillips and Washington counties were voting for the measures that directed their commissioners to explore secession. Results were pending in Yuma County.
Secession votes also took place in Elbert, Lincoln, Logan, Sedgwick and Moffat counties.