Choiceless ballot coming to voting booth near you

Thursday, July 3, 2003 at 1:00am

If you think you will have a real choice when you vote for your member of Congress next year, think again. Your political leaders are conspiring to kill democracy in the House of Representatives.

In more than 90 percent of the nation's 435 congressional districts, the lines have been drawn to guarantee the election of one party or the other. Last fall, only four challengers defeated incumbents, the fewest number ever.

Election experts Steven Hill and Rob Richie summed up the redistricting process since the 2000 census for The Washington Post: "The real losers were voters, left with overwhelmingly choiceless elections."

And it's getting worse. Rep. Bob Beauprez, a Colorado Republican, won his seat in the Denver suburbs last year by 121 votes, the closest contest in the country. Voters there had a real choice between Beauprez and Democrat Mike Feeley. Not anymore.

The legislature passed a bill this spring that added almost 30,000 registered Republicans to the Beauprez district. And, for good measure, they shifted Feeley out of it. So next year, the voters in Colorado's 7th District will be like almost every other American

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