How does Colorado redraw boundaries for the U.S. Congress and State House and Senate?
Did you know that if passed, Colorado would be the first and only state in the union to give a voice to unaffiliated voters in this process? A national model perhaps, as, after all, they represent about 1/3 of registered voters!
The politicians who represent us, the people, are elected by district. District lines are drawn every ten years following the census report. Currently drawing those lines is the responsibility of the legislature, the very folks whose elections depend on the boundary lines!
Amendments Y and Z would place that authority in two independent commissions, which is ever so important because it is obvious that over the years both of the state's largest political parties are responsible for working to keep themselves in the majority. In Colorado, only one of our seven U.S.
Congressional (House) districts is competitive, and only 4-5 of our state House and 5-6 of our state Senate districts are competitive---out of 100 total! It is quite fascinating to note that both our State House and our State Senate voted unanimously to refer these two amendments to the ballot! Evidently, they understand the status quo as well!
If Y and Z do not pass in 2018, there is one last chance (2019), otherwise not until the next census in 2030 could these proposals possibly be put into effect! State League has been working diligently and vigorously to bring measures to the ballot that match League positions on the criteria for the selection of the commissions' members, transparency and public input, maximum competitiveness of the districts, protection of minority voting strength, and judicial review of the maps. These do!
Again, it is truly important that these two amendments pass this year! The two biggest hurdles to the passage of these two truly important amendments are apathy and ignorance. Our ballots are long this year and full of legalese that may turn voters off. As League members we must do our parts to educate and advocate, and we have tools to accomplish this: ballot issues pamphlets, "Yes on Amendments Y and Z" tri-fold pamphlets, pins, yard signs, our knowledge and spreading the word to our families, friends, social groups, and community members.
MANY thanks to LWVCO president, Toni Larson, and LWVCO Board Member, Jean Fredlund, for an engaging presentation yesterday. It was inspiring!
Bottom line: We the voters should choose our politicians, not the other way around!
Colorado has a Reapportionment Commission composed of 11 appointed members that is convened in May of the year following a census to draw lines for the State House and Senate districts.
The General Assembly has established a bipartisan Joint Select Committee to draw boundaries for the State House and Senate Districts.
Reasons For Caution Re Supporting Redistricting Initiatives http://lwvppr.org/files/reasons_for_caution-_redistricting_-2.pdf
Fair Districts Colorado fairdistrictscolorado.org/