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League of Women Voters®
of Boulder County

Serving the People of Boulder County, Colorado

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Redistricting Reform Proposals Are Advancing

Deborah Hayes
April 2018 update

Two ANTI-GERRYMANDERING proposals are likely to make their way onto the November 2018 ballot in Colorado!
They would establish an independent commission to draw fair state legislative and congressional district lines. 

Read the proposals here -

   #170  -
 Redistricting - Colorado’s Congressional Districts

   #171  -  Reapportionment - Colorado General Assembly - Senate and House Districts

(NOTE: They are almost identical, except for some legal language, numbering of the sections, a word here and there, and the like.)

Now we hope the Colorado Legislature will agree to put the proposals on the November 2018 ballot as referendums to amend the Colorado Constitution. 

The proposals have been introduced in the Colorado Senate and have been submitted to the Title Board process. We have good feedback from both parties and are in the process of getting good sponsors in both houses. 

Click here to read Denver Post coverage (March 27, 2018). This is the first of an ongoing campaign to publicize and explain both the need for these initiatives and how they will meet that need.

If not referenda, we plan to place them on the ballot as initiatives. So, we gather signatures on petitions. We hope that the Colorado Supreme Court will waive the requirement to get about 2,000 signatures in each and every senate district in the state. Stay tuned . . . 

Either way, LWV is preparing materials and planning for educational events. To pass, the proposals will need 55 percent of voters to vote YES.

You are invited to review the progress of the redistricting campaign in these documents:
  Read the LWV state and national positions on REDISTRICTING here

  Read the 
LWVCO Redistricting Committee Report 20 Jan 2018

  Read about redistricting efforts in other states

  Read about redistricting in California (Jan 2018)

  Read the LWVCO notes on the teleconference on 27 Dec 2017
  Read the LWVCO Notes on the Teleconf 18 Dec 2017.

  LWVCO responded to Common Cause in December 2017 concerning its objections.

   Read the FDC Fact Sheet (Sept 2017).

  Handouts from the LWVCO Legislative Conference 29 Jan 2018, available here (3 p.), the League called for inclusion of these five provisions:

 •    Establish two independent commissions, one for legislative redistricting and one for congressional redistricting; the legislative proposals are constitutional proposals and the congressional proposal is statutory.

 •    Provide for the appointment of four Democrats, four Republicans and four non-major party people to each politically balanced independent commission.

 •    Engage non artisan legislative staff (Legislative Council) to produce maps showing legislative or congressional districts, referred to as the Iowa mode, considered the gold standard for map development.
 •    Follow a set of criteria —

  - US Constitution;
  - Voting Rights Act;
  - not more than five percent deviation between smallest and largest district; compactness;
  - shortest linear distance of district boundaries;
  - keep contiguous, whole general election precincts;
  - avoid dividing counties and municipalities and communities of interest (racial, ethnic, language group,
      cultural, economic, trade area, geographic, demographic factors).
After meeting all these criteria, overlay competitiveness.
These criteria are modeled on California's redistricting plan where it was found that when the above criteria were followed, competitiveness was achieved.

 •    Require a supermajority and include at least two non-major party members in any vote to approve a map.