Pikes Peak Voter
Volume 3 Issue 11 October 15, 2018
Members, guests and those interested in joining LWVPPR are all welcome at LWVPPR events.
See our Events Calendar at LWVPPR.org to RSVP for local League events.
All addresses are in Colorado Springs unless otherwise noted.
15 BALLOTS MAILED
15 Voter Service Team Meeting, 5:30 p.m., Member's Home, contact LWVPPR@gmail.com.
17 Issues Forum with Citizens Project, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m., Sierra High School, 2250 Jet Wing Drive
19 Membership Team Meeting, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m., Stir Coffee, 2330 N. Wahsatch
30 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Webinar
6 Election Day, BALLOTS DUE by 7:00 p.m.
8 Lunch & Learn - Member Introduction to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments, 15 S. 7th Street
12 Website Training, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m., East Library, 5550 N. Union Blvd
Civic Superhero & Citizen Engagement
The Peak Alliance for a Sustainable Future is hosting their monthly sustainability speaker series, Sustainability in Progress (SIP), on October 17, 7:30 a.m. in the Wildcat Room, at Ivywild School 1604 S. Cascade Ave, Colorado Springs. Join us this month’s SIP to learn how you can become a Civic Superhero. No RSVP needed, coffee and pastries served. This event is free and open to the community. Speaker: Jay Anderson - Citizen Engagement, City of Colorado Springs.
Spotlight on Upcoming League Events
Lunch & Learn –
All Member Introduction to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Members will watch a Webinar on DEI with a follow-up discussion over lunch. Members have the option of viewing the October 30 Webinar on their own and registering to join us on 11/8 for lunch and discussion. Capacity for event is 20 members.
Thursday, November 8, 2018
10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments
Large Conference Room
15 S. 7th Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
Register by November 7 on the LWVPPR Event Calendar or contact Kay Tuschen, 719-355-6086 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To view the October 30 Webinar in advance, register at this DEI Webinar link.
On Monday, November 12, 2018, LWVPPR is holding a Basic Training for members for our new LWVPPR.Org Website. This event is aimed at helping our general members who want to become more "tech savvy" to learn how to use our new website. Capacity for event is 12 members.
Monday, November 12, 2018
1:00 p.m. until 2:30 p.m.
East Library Training Room
5550 North Union Boulevard
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
Registration is required. You can register online in the LWVPPR Event Calendar or contact Judith Beerbaum, 719-251-3819 or email@example.com.
Holiday Tea Party
Mark Your Calendars for Our Holiday Social Event
Sunday, December 2, 2018
2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.
European Café and Restaurant
1015 W. Colorado Avenue
Colorado Springs, CO 80904
Registration is recommended. You can register in the LWVPPR Event Calendar or contact Kay Tuschen at 719-355-6086 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration cancellations will be accepted until 6:00 p.m., November 30.
It's Time To Vote!
The El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Office has mailed approximately 379,900 ballots to active, registered county voters for the 2018 General Election. The two-sheet ballot—which contains the race for Governor/Lieutenant Governor, U.S. Representative, State Legislators, State Offices, County Offices, Judges and various other races and ballot questions—should begin arriving in voters’ mailboxes later this week.
Know someone who hasn't registered? Registering online is easy at www.GoVoteColorado.com but don't wait too long. Voters who register to vote by October 29 will be sent a ballot in the mail. If they wait until after October 29, they’ll have to register and vote in person at a Voter Service and Polling Center. Citizens may register to vote through Election Day but the lines and wait times can be long.
The County Clerk and Recorder's Office website, www.EPCVotes.com, has helpful election resources including a map of the ballot drop box locations, the sample ballot, an Information Booklet (known as the “Blue Book”) and the county's TABOR Notice. The Clerk’s Office has even produced a sample ballot that has been interpreted in American Sign Language. The video has been placed on the website and distributed to organizations that represent the Deaf community.
All ballots must be returned to the Clerk’s Office by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day, November 6, to be counted. Postmarked ballots received after the deadline will not be counted. For those voters returning their ballot in the mail, $0.71 of postage is needed.
Once a person has voted their ballot, they can return it to the Clerk’s Office by mail or by dropping it off in one of many 24/7 ballot drop boxes or at a Voter Service and Polling Center (VSPC). Voters may also vote in person, update a voter registration or receive a replacement ballot at a VSPC. Most Voter Service and Polling Centers will open in two phases later this month, but people needing help now can visit the Elections Department at Citizens Service Center, 1675 W. Garden of the Gods Road, starting immediately. To find other VSPC locations and when they open visit www.EPCVotes.com.
For useful information on the pros and cons of the ballot issues and to see candidate responses to League questions visit VOTE411.org, League's online voter guide!
Amendment V - Lower Age Requirement for Members of State Legislature - No position
Amendment W - Election Ballot Format for Judicial Retention Elections - SUPPORT
Amendment X - Industrial Hemp Definition - No position
Amendment Y - Congressional Redistricting - SUPPORT
Amendment Z - Legislative Redistricting - SUPPORT
Amendment A - Prohibit Slavery & Involuntary Servitude in All Circumstances - SUPPORT
Amendment 73 - Funding for Public Schools - Support with reservations
Amendment 74 - Just Compensation for Fair Market Value - OPPOSE
Amendment 75 - Campaign Contributions - OPPOSE
Proposition 109 - Authorize Bonds for Transportation Projects - OPPOSE
Proposition 110 - Transportation Funding (sales tax increase) - SUPPORT
Proposition 111 - Limitation on PayDay Loans - SUPPORT
Proposition 112 - Setback Requirements for Oil and Gas Development - SUPPORT
What Is A Fair District?
By Zoe Frolik
Propositions Y and Z are all about making Colorado’s congressional and legislative districts fair and competitive. But what does it mean to have a fair map? Here’s a quick guide to the math behind the two measures of fairness you may have been hearing about a lot lately.
The Efficiency Gap: According to Nicholas Stephanopoulos, the efficiency gap "gives you, in a single number, an indication of which side is benefiting from all of the cracking and packing [in redistricting] and how large of an advantage they have." The efficiency gap is measured by looking at the ratio of wasted votes to casted votes across the state. There are two ways a vote can be wasted. Imagine two parties, Party A and Party B have candidates in Congressional District X. Imagine Candidate A wins the election.
• Everyone vote cast for Candidate B is a wasted vote
• Every extra vote for Candidate A (over the win number) is a wasted vote.
The win number is found by taking the total number of votes cast, dividing it by two, and adding one.
Let’s get more specific. Imagine 100 people cast votes in District X. As such, each candidate only needs 51 votes to win. Let’s say candidate A gets 55 votes and candidate B gets 45 votes. In this scenario, 4 votes are wasted for Candidate A and 45 votes are wasted for Candidate B.
The efficiency gap is then the net number of wasted votes divided by the total number of votes. Without loss of generality, let’s assign all wasted votes for Candidate A a positive value and all wasted votes for Candidate B a negative value.
Efficiency gap = ((wasted votes for Candidate A + wasted votes for Candidate B) / total number of votes) *100
Efficiency gap = (((55-51) + -45) / 100) *100
Efficiency gap = ((5 - 45) / 100) *100
Efficiency gap = -40/100*100
Efficiency gap = -40%
This means that in District X, there is a 40% efficiency gap benefitting Candidate A.
According to FiveThirtyEight, Colorado’s efficiency gap is currently 3% leaning towards Democrats. This means that by the efficiency gap measure, Colorado is not extremely gerrymandered (the threshold is 7%).
Compactness - Another measure of gerrymandering is the idea of compactness. One way of measuring compactness calculating the ratio of the district area to the area of a circle with the same perimeter. Compactness is often considered when determining if a district is gerrymandered or not because if the ratio described above is low, it means the boundaries of the district are contorted and note smooth, most likely to include certain groups of voters and exclude others. By this measure, CO-1 (D), CO-6 (R), and CO-7 (D) are considered “extremely gerrymandered.” CO-2 (D) is considered “mildly gerrymandered” and CO-3 (R), CO-4 (R), and CO-5 (R) are considered “less gerrymandered.”
While both calculations are considered to be good measures of gerrymandering, they each come with their share of issues. For one, the efficency gap doesn’t take into account the political geography of a state. To elaborate, since liberal voters tend to be concentrated in cities, elections in cities will naturally have a higher number of wasted votes and a higher efficiency gap. This isn’t due to gerrymandering, just by where people chose to live.
Similarly, one issue with compactness is that a non-compact district may be non-compact due to its geographical boundary. For example, TX-18 (D) and TX-2 (R) are very non-compact, but part of their borders follow the meandering Buffalo Bayou, contributing to a large perimeter. One way to solve the issue of compactness would be to make all districts the same size and the same shape. Let’s say we lay a grid over the United States and make congressional districts from that grid. Due to the distribution of the population, this means that a square district that covers Wyoming would represent significantly less people than a square district covering San Francisco. This would go against the idea that the House of Representatives is designed to offer proportional representation to the states.
Currently, Moon Duchin from Tufts is working with a group of mathematicians and computer scientists to look at the fairness of a redistricting plan in a different way. Duchin and her team are basically using mathematical maps to change the borders of congressional districts across the United States. Then, Duchin’s team applies election results to each new map, and makes note of the outcome. Let’s say a current congressional map yields 4 Republican and 2 Democrat representatives for a state. However, Duchin’s team draw billions of maps and learns that the majority of the maps return an even Republican/Democrat split. In this instance, there is a strong argument to be made that the map had been unfairly drawn to advantage Republicans.
The League of Women Voters of Colorado’s officially support Proposition Y and support Proposition Z. For more information on Propositions Y and Z and the importance of drawing fair and competitive maps, visit
fairmapscolorado.com. You can find the LWVCO’s positions on 2018 Colorado ballot issues at lwvcolorado.org/lwv/lwvco-positions-on-issues/.
Zoe Frolik is a member of League of Women Voters of the Pikes Peak Region and a mathematics student at Colorado College.
Thank you to everyone who joined us to write get out the vote (GOTV) messages on our postcards, and labeled and stamped them. League joined Pikes Peak Equality Project and Citizens Project on this GOTV effort aimed at 10,000 low propensity (low turnout) voters in Colorado Springs. Our photos below show volunteers at EpiCentral Coworking on October 1, just one of six opportunities to help with these GOTV efforts.
Ballot Presentation A Success
League of Voter Service Team Chair Lineah Davey reviewed the ballot issues in front of a standing room only crowd on October 6. LWVPPR and American Association of University Women (AAUW) co-sponsored the presentation at Rockrimmon Library. LWVPPR volunteers continue to present to sororities and other women's groups, HOAs, and seniors.
In addition to ballot talks, many of the Voter Service Team members have distributed League of Women Voters of Colorado ballot issue pamphlets summarizing each question and its pros and cons. If you would like some for a group you know contact LWVPPR@gmail.com.
LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS
OF THE PIKES PEAK REGION
EMPOWERING VOTERS. DEFENDING DEMOCRACY.
Voter Editor: Julie Ott
League Phone: (719) 447-9400