Redistricting on the Road: How Colorado’s Independent Redistricting Commission is ensuring fair maps
With the latest figures from the Census Bureau now released, it’s time for the redistricting commissions to begin drawing Colorado’s new district maps in earnest. The redistricting process represents a once in a decade opportunity for our state to determine how — and who — represents the voters.
Thanks to Colorado voters, no longer does partisan advantage in the statehouse dictate who will draw our congressional and legislative maps. In 2018, Colorado voters adopted Amendments Y and Z to ensure that voters, not politicians, would be in charge of drawing the maps through independent redistricting commissions.
Now, the redistricting commissions are working to ensure a fair redistricting process that’s both transparent and accessible for all.
Colorado Redistricting Roadshow
So far, that’s meant holding meetings all across the state. Since the commissioners were selected in March, they’ve been traveling across Colorado, holding meetings and encouraging Coloradans to come out to discuss how they want their communities represented. Using preliminary census data, the Commissions have been drawing preliminary legislative and congressional maps as they await the official data release from the Census Bureau — data that was delayed due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Given the delays of the census data, the Commission was granted greater flexibility in their timeline by the Colorado Supreme Court. Now, the Commissions may continue their work into the summer to ensure Coloradans get the best maps possible.
Since the “Colorado Redistricting Roadshow”, the commission has hosted over a dozen meetings, offering citizens a platform to provide input as well as learn more about the redistricting process. By the end of the summer, the Commission will have hosted 21 meetings by the end of the summer — three in each congressional district.
The next phase of redistricting begins soon — by mid-August, the Commission will receive the final redistricting data that will be used to produce the final maps. In September, the Commission will begin a new round of hearings using the final census data as a base. By December, the Commission will have new maps that fairly represent Colorado’s congressional and legislative districts.
Colorado is getting it right
Across the country, the redistricting process has been impacted by delays related to the pandemic. In states without an independent redistricting commission, the lack of census data hasn’t prevented politicians from attempting to siphon off voting populations to draw their own maps.
In Colorado, the independent redistricting commission has continued to do its duty, despite delays. They’ve followed a fair redistricting process despite the setbacks, and their ambitious meeting schedule has allowed more Coloradans than ever to have the opportunity to get involved in the mapmaking process.
Coloradans will reap the benefits — after decades maps drawn to benefit parties, Colorado voters can rest assured that these new maps will ensure that all voices are being heard and considered.
All is not said and done with this year’s redistricting. There’s still time to get involved in the process! Your voice matters in determining how your community is represented and commissioners want to hear your feedback.
How can you get involved?
- Attend a hearing
- Submit public comment
- Draw a map on the redistricting online portal
- Follow the commission on Twitter