Julie Marqua is probably ahead of most voters in coming to a decision about Amendment Y, which would create a 12-member commission to redraw Colorado’s congressional districts after each census.
Marqua was one of 68 Fort Lewis College students who made nonpartisan, informational videos about the 13 different measures on Colorado’s Nov. 6 General Election ballot.
Tuesday night, students presented their videos in a forum held by the La Plata County League of Women Voters in the Lyceum at the Center of Southwest Studies to a crowd of about 60 voters. Videos should be on the LWV website by Monday.
“I personally really like to be very informed before I take a stance on an issue, so I thought this was a great way to gather information,” said Marqua, a 20-year-old sophomore doubling in business and music.
Amendment Y has a companion measure, Amendment Z, which would set up a similar commission to redraw state legislative districts for the state Senate and the state House of Representatives.
Students detailed arguments for and against the ballot measures and included notable supporters and opponents of the various measures. Some videos included campaign-finance information about the money behind the campaigns.
Marqua said that any registered voter could simply fill out a form and be considered in a pool for inclusion on the 12-member commission that, if it works as planned, would reduce the ability of the political parties to gerrymander districts.
“I was pleased the students made a concerted effort to keep the videos nonpartisan,” said professor Michael Dichio, whose students in his American government class produced them. “It’s a very hard thing to do in an age of 24-hour news and smartphones.”
Dichio said students heard from community members with additional ideas to remove any remaining trace of bias in the videos.
“It was great feedback, and that will help us revise the videos and make them even more useful to the voters of La Plata County,” he said.
In the end, Marqua concluded she would support Amendment Y.
“I think it’s a good idea to give redistricting to a bipartisan committee rather than leaving it up to the state General Assembly,” she said.