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  • Writer's pictureMario Nicolais

Unaffiliated voters need strong voices on Colorado’s redistricting commissions

I registered as an unaffiliated voter on Jan. 19, 2017 — the day before President Donald Trump’s inauguration. In the interim I have been joined by a substantial number of Coloradans, now more than 40% of the electorate.

As the decennial redistricting of congressional and legislative lines kicks off in earnest, that is a reality that must be recognized and honored.

Ten years ago I sat on the Colorado Reapportionment Commission tasked with redrawing the district boundaries for state House and state Senate seats. Despite the original proclamations to work in a bipartisan fashion, as the process drew to a close heated rhetoric and bickering between parties took center stage.

I know because I delivered some of the most caustic lines.

The passage of Amendments Y and Z in 2018 reimagined the entire process. Adopted in order to ensure “politically balanced” maps, deliver “an inclusive and meaningful … redistricting process,” and provide “representation to voters not affiliated with either of the state’s two largest parties,” the amendments granted new clout to unaffiliated voters.

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