A bipartisan coalition backed by two former governors on Wednesday took the first step toward putting redistricting reform on the 2018 ballot, filing three initiatives that the group hopes will lead to more competitive elections in Colorado. The three ballot initiatives seek to dilute the influence of the two major political parties in the state’s redistricting process by putting more unaffiliated voters on the commissions tasked with drawing the lines for state legislative and congressional districts. Led by the nonpartisan League of Women Voters of Colorado and former state Rep. Kathleen Curry, a political independent, the effort has some high-profile backers in both parties.
Former House Speaker Frank McNulty, R-Highlands Ranch, and former Secretary of State Bernie Buescher, a Grand Junction Democrat, are among the effort’s leaders, while former Republican Gov. Bill Owens and Democratic Gov. Dick Lamm have both endorsed the effort.
The attempt comes at a time when gerrymandering — the act of skewing district lines to favor one party or another — is under heightened scrutiny across the country. The U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year agreed to hear a case out of Wisconsin, in which it will be asked to decide whether partisan gerrymandering disenfranchises voters in violation of the Constitution.