The demise of two presidential primary bills late in the 2016 session didn't signal the end but the beginning of a statewide debate about the future look of Colorado elections, according to a group of Senate Republicans who have formed a working group to keep the dialogue going between sessions.
The Colorado Elections Study Group already has announced its first meeting, to be held Saturday, June 11, from 1 to 3 p.m. in the capitol's old Supreme Court chambers.
The group's founding members are Senators Laura Woods (R-Arvada), Ray Scott (R-Grand Junction), Jerry Sonnenberg (R-Sterling), Kevin Grantham (R-Cañon City) and Kevin Lundberg (R-Berthoud).
Lundberg, the assistant majority leader in the Senate, authored one of the two bills that fell along the wayside as the session drew to a close. "Rather than looking at these two failed bills as a defeat, I think voters scored a victory by getting us all thinking and talking about what the presidential primary might look like in four years," said Scott.
The group has a decidedly Republican look initially but founders urge the participation of all interested parties, including Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, unaffiliateds, etc.
"One positive thing we learned from this session, despite the failure of both primary bills, is that there's broad interest across Colorado in creating an election system that correctly balances the needs of a changing electorate, which spans the spectrum from major party stalwarts to independents," Woods said in announcing the group's formation and first meeting.
"Our experience with the primary bills showed that finding consensus on this topic isn't easy, given the wide array of opinions and interests involved, but we think more progress can be made free from the deadline pressures that cut short this year's debate," added Grantham.
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