Election

The Ten Best Political Moments of 2018

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Divisive elections, including a contentious governor's race, and a series of scandals rocked Colorado politics in 2018. That, coupled with all the national political scandals, would be enough for anyone to quit politics altogether.

But through it all, Coloradans on both sides of the aisle had a lot of reasons to celebrate (though Democrats were the ones really celebrating in November). From voting in diverse candidates to prominent Republicans and Democrats proving they can work out their differences, Colorado showed its true colors this election season. Here are our the best moments in Colorado politics in 2018:

Avoiding the Ugly
Midterm elections around the U.S. were consumed by ugly and decidedly partisan accusations of fraud and state legislatures openly trying to strip power from incoming governors of a different party. While Wayne Williams, Colorado's Republican secretary of state and head of all elections, was voted out of office in November, transparent, safe and easy elections — thanks in large part to state Republicans, by the way — helped us avoid such nasty partisan fighting.

Curbing Gerrymandering
Amendments Y and Z passed in November, creating an independent commission of Democrats, Republican and unaffiliated voters that will be responsible for drawing Colorado’s congressional and state House and Senate district lines. It might sound like a relatively minor logistical exercise, but it’s a big deal and a step in the right direction to end an ugly, undemocratic practice that’s been exploited by parties all over the U.S. And Republicans and Democrats unanimously backed the measure, a rare feat in these polarized times.

Finally Abolishing Slavery
Unbeknownst to many Coloradans, the state constitution still allowed slavery — until an amendment this year finally abolished it. Much to our embarrassment, a similar amendment had come along before, but it was so confusing that voters actually maintained slavery in the constitution instead of abolishing it. Yes, Colorado was extremely late in finally getting this done, but it happened, and we're all the better for it.
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Chris Bianchi is a Westword contributor interested in politics.
Contact: Chris Bianchi