With any luck, Colorado next year could join a growing list of states that have taken redistricting for Congress and the legislature out of the hands of partisan activists and their lawyers and put it with nonpartisan experts who draw competitive boundaries acceptable to the fair-minded everywhere. Goodbye gerrymandering — that centuries-old practice of rigging the political game by drawing district lines that guarantee single-party dominance. Every decade after the latest federal census, the two parties in Colorado lock horns in a contest to dominate and distort the redrawing of political maps. To halt this spectacle, a bipartisan group that includes former governors, secretaries of state, and speakers of the House released a ballot proposal this week that would create a 12-person redistricting commission comprised of four Republicans, four Democrats and four unaffiliated members.
But that’s only the start. Any new congressional or legislative map would need eight votes to pass, guaranteeing that it doesn’t simply reflect a wish list by one party.
Perhaps the most important change from the status quo, however, is that commission staff would come from the legislature’s research and legal services offices rather than be supplied by the parties. And instead of offering competing partisan maps, they would draw a single map, say, for Congress or the state Senate to meet a variety of criteria mandated in the amendment, such as “fair and compet
Full Article: A needed plan to bar partisan maps – The Denver Post.