A growing problem
According to a recent article in Colorado Politics, Colorado leads the nation in the percentage of unelected legislators. For many of us living in Littleton, both our state representative (Richard Champion) and our state senator (Jeff Bridges) were selected by unelected party-specific precinct committee people — Champion by Republicans and Bridges by Democrats — rather than by voters or even elected representatives. Since, according to the secretary of state, there are now more unaffiliated voters in Colorado than either registered Democrats or Republicans, these party-appointed representatives are rather unrepresentative.
Colorado’s party-specific method of filling vacancies is unusual among U.S. states and, given the increasing proportion of unaffiliated voters, should be changed. One can imagine many more representative procedures, including persistent ranked choice voting or even random selection of citizens or elected officials from the affected districts, if the time and cost of vacancy-filling elections are not warranted. My goal here is not to promote a solution but to highlight a growing problem and to raise awareness and discussion in the wider community.
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