LaPlata County elections for County Commissioners are conducted as an “At-large” voting block so that the people do not elect a Commissioner that is specific to their own district. The result of this is that the people in the more populated areas of the county are, essentially, choosing the Board of County Commissioners.
Testimony in favor of SB-221 given from “Free Counties Project” (presented by Judy Spady):
Thank you for your time today and thank you to J Paul Brown and to John for setting up the remote technology.
I rise today to speak, strongly, in favor of Senate Bill 221 because as free citizens of a Constitutional Republic we should have the right to have our votes count in our local elections and to self-govern in local matters. The Founding Fathers of our, once great, nation fought a revolution to ensure that unalienable rights were protected and they wrote the Declaration of Independence to fight for our right to have representation of our voices.
Article 2, Section 1 of the Colorado Constitution gives the vestment power to the people, first and foremost, to protect us in “freedom of elections” which is granted in Section 5.
The fact that La Plata County is an “at-large” voting district is a problem because it stifles the voices of the rural people and the urban citizens use their voting blocks, like the college, to push their agendas onto the rest of the county. Isn’t it time that the rural people of Colorado get a chance at TRUE Representation? Why would the state legislature want to silence our voices?
At-large voting districts were banned, permanently, from federal elections with the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act for this very reason. The federal courts declared that at-large voting districts were illegal because they go against our Constitutionally protected unalienable rights. Most states have discarded at-large elections and this no voting method has been the topic of much litigation throughout our nation because of its discriminatory impact and negative consequences in local jurisdictions.
The goal of the “Free Counties Project” is to work with these other counties across the state to ensure that we have representation in our elections. We urge the committee to bring this bill to a vote on the House floor and if not, we will be forced to expose the fact that the State Legislature wants our rural voices to be silenced. We will be SILENT NO MORE! We demand that our Constitutional rights be recognized.
Here’s an article about it from the Durango Herald: