The battle is heating up over how Colorado draws its legislative and congressional boundaries. After failing to knock out a pair of proposed redistricting and reapportionment ballot measures in court, a rough coalition of mostly liberal and good-government groups filed competing ballot measures in late December and is vowing to take the choice before voters this fall – potentially a case of, if you can’t beat ’em in court, join ’em on the ballot. Backers of the original measures, meanwhile, say they welcome the tacit acknowledgment that the current system needs fixing and are offering to work out a plan with their rivals that “ends gerrymandering, protects communities of interest and promotes truly competitive elections.”
At stake: The rules governing the state’s reapportionment and redistricting process – the former describes drawing legislative boundaries, the latter refers to drawing congressional lines – which takes place once a decade after the decennial U.S. census, in this case, 2020.
The two opposing coalitions each maintain their plans will do away with gerrymandering, or the practice of drawing districts to benefit a particular party, and increase the number of competitive seats while grouping voters sensibly. They differ sharply, however, on some details and aren’t shy about disparaging their opponents’ schemes.