SB 198
Background and Procedural Information

Colorado Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon introduced Colorado Senate Bill 198 (CO S.B. 198) on March 6, 2008.  As of June 4, 2008 it has passed the Senate but has been indefinitely postponed in a House Committee.  This bill would establish new criteria for Colorado’s independent Reapportioning Commission to use when creating Congressional districts.

Under the proposed legislation, are single-member districts a requirement or otherwise implied?

No.  There are no restrictions on the creation of multi-member districts.   

Does the proposed legislation provide for Voting Rights Act compliance (e.g. can the commission use voter history information)?

This bill proposes six ranked criteria be used to develop districts.  The criteria ranked second in importance states that a factor should be “non-dilution of minority voting strength.”  There is no overt mention of the Voting Rights Act.

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?

The existing law of Colorado has the eleven person commission is formed by the legislative leaders of Colorado each choosing one commissioner, the governor choosing three commissioners, and four commissioners chosen by the Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court.  A maximum of six commissioners may be members of the same political party.
Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

The commission is to create districts based on six criteria ranked in order of importance.  The sixth criterion is that “to the extent practicable the General Assembly shall create districts that promote fair and equitable representation and electoral competition.”  

Under the proposed legislation, can members of the public submit plans?

No.  The existing law of Colorado does not allow for members of the public to submit their own plan.  

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?

The existing law only provides for one redistricting session per decade.   
May 14th 2008
Is the House of Representatives Too Small?

The U.S. House of Representatives has been at 435 members since 1911, when the country was a third of its current population. Research suggests that districts may now be getting too big for adequate representation.

November 15th 2006
Redistricting Reconsidered
Washington Post

Citing FairVote's Dubious Democracy 2006, an editorial notes that non-competition in U.S. House races has causes more fundamental than gerrymandering.

November 1st 2006
Lines of demarcation
Dallas-Fort Worth Star-Telegram

FairVote research cited in this commentary on lopsided redistricting, uncompetitive districts and the party primary battles they inspire.

October 30th 2006
Electile Dysfunction?
News Release Wire

Former FairVote President Matthew Cossolotto calls for a range of reforms, highlighting two problems of American democracy: "counting the votes" and "making votes count."

August 19th 2006
Eliminate districts
Contra Costa Times

CA resident calls for proportional voting in one statewide district as a congressional redistricting reform.

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