Election 2018News

Anti-gerrymandering reforms clear first hurdle in Colorado

Author: Associated Press - April 24, 2018 - Updated: April 24, 2018

Voter Wendy Flynn drops ballots into a metal bin at the Cottonwood Creek Park Recreational Center in Colorado Springs in 2007. (The Gazette file photo)

DENVER — Colorado lawmakers want to ask voters to outlaw gerrymandering in the state’s constitution.

A bipartisan package of redistricting reforms cleared its first hurdle Monday, passing a state Senate committee on a unanimous vote.

The referendum seeks to boost the influence of unaffiliated voters in the political map-drawing process. It would prohibit the state redistricting commission from drawing maps designed to help a candidate or party.

Changing the state constitution requires a two-thirds vote in both chambers and voter approval.

Both sides say the existing process has failed to prevent gerrymandering. The Colorado Supreme Court has had to step in and choose a map three of the last four redistricting cycles.

Democrats won 57 percent of state House seats in 2016 even though Republicans won 50.4 percent of the statewide vote.

Associated Press

Associated Press