Issues of gerrymandering and efforts to correct the problem have been hot topics in the news as of late. Fair voting processes and protections so voters know that their votes have equal sway as any other vote are key components to our democracy. The League is committed to Making Democracy Work and is investing heavily, in bipartisan efforts to promote fairly drawn districts. The message below is an update from the League of Women Voters of Colorado to share how they are supporting fair redistricting in Colorado.
Dear League Member;
Here is the latest update on the League’s Redistricting Reform Action.The League of Women Voters of Colorado is a member of a bipartisan coalition called Fair District Colorado (FDC).
On March 22, 2018, two redistricting reform initiatives were agreed upon by FDC and People Not Politicians (PNP). The initiatives have been filed with legislative staff, the first step in the Title Board process. All previous proposals have been withdrawn.
These initiatives work to ensure democracy and fair representation in Colorado by establishing two independent commission to draw fair state legislature and congressional district lines.
Both initiatives have been published to our website for your convenience. Here are the links: #170 and #171. (NOTE: They are almost identical, except for some legalese, numbering of the sections, a word here and there, etc.)
GETTING ON THE BALLOT
The coalition is continuing its hard work in order to get the initiatives on the ballot as ‘referred’ measures to amend the constitution (through the state legislature). If this happens, the petition process of gathering voters’ signatures would not be required.
The League’s lobbyist, along with those hired by FDC and PNP, will be approaching the leadership of both parties in the next few days. LWVCO will keep you informed on this effort.
Petition Process: The plan is to go ahead and start gathering signatures after the proposals are approved by the Title Board, so as to have enough to get it on the ballot that way if necessary, that is if the legislature does not pass them. (FYI: The Colorado Supreme Court has not yet decided whether it will throw out the requirement to get about 2000 signatures in each and every Senate district in the state.) LWVCO will keep you informed on this opinion.
Voter Education: Getting information out to the voters will be critical as each initiative must receive 55% of the votes cast to pass the proposals into law. The coalition, along with the League of Women Voters of Colorado, will be preparing materials for local Leagues to use in their ballot issue educational efforts. LWVCO will notify local League leaders when the materials are ready.
Thanks for your attention and interest in this important issue.
Toni Larson, LWVCO President and Jean Fredlund, Member-at Large LWVCO State Board Chair, LWVCO Redistricting Committee
People Not Politicians (PNP) is a coalition of Democratic-leaning groups and individuals. It includes Common Cause, the NAACP, the ACLU and Mi Familia Vota as well as others.
League of Women Voters of Colorado (LWVCO) is a nonpartisan membership organization that works to empower voters and defend democracy. More at lwvcolorado.org