Anti-gerrymandering reforms clear first hurdle in Colorado

DENVER (AP) — Colorado lawmakers want to ask voters to outlaw gerrymandering in the state's constitution.

A bipartisan package of redistricting reforms cleared its first hurdle Monday, passing a state Senate committee on a unanimous vote.

The referendum seeks to boost the influence of unaffiliated voters in the political map-drawing process. It would prohibit the state redistricting commission from drawing maps designed to help a candidate or party.

Changing the state constitution requires a two-thirds vote in both chambers and voter approval.

Both sides say the existing process has failed to prevent gerrymandering. The Colorado Supreme Court has had to step in and choose a map three of the last four redistricting cycles.

Democrats won 57 percent of state House seats in 2016 even though Republicans won 50.4 percent of the statewide vote.

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