FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 13, 2021
Colorado Independent Redistricting Commission Releases First Legislative Staff Plans
DENVER -- The first legislative staff plans can be viewed or downloaded at https://redistricting.colorado.gov/content/staff-legislative-1.
The state senate and state house plans were prepared using 2020 Census Data, public comments and input from the legislative commission. The plans will be presented virtually to the commission on Sept. 14 at 12:00 p.m. The legislative commission must approve the final plan by Oct. 11.
As stated in the Colorado Constitution, the new legislative districts must:
Districts cannot be drawn for the purpose of:
- Have equal population, as required by the U.S. Constitution, with a population deviation of no more than 5 percent between the most populous and the least populous district in each chamber;
- Be composed of contiguous geographic areas;
- Comply with the federal "Voting Rights Act of 1965," as amended;
- Preserve whole communities of interest and whole political subdivisions, such as counties, cities, and towns; however, a division of a county, city, city and county, or town is permitted where a community of interest's legislative issues are more essential to the fair and effective representation of residents of the district. When the commission divides a county, city, city and county, or town, it shall minimize the number of divisions of that county, city, city and county, or town;
- Be as compact as is reasonably possible;
- and thereafter, maximize the number of politically competitive districts.
The Colorado Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission has approved several policies, which provide official direction from the commissioners to nonpartisan staff regarding compactness, competitiveness, prisoner allocation and more. The full text of these policies can be viewed at https://redistricting.colorado.gov/content/legislative-policies.
- Protecting incumbents in or declared candidates for the Colorado General Assembly or any political party; or
- Denying or abridging the right of any citizen to vote on account of that person's race or membership in a language minority group, including diluting the impact of that racial or language minority group's electoral influence.
As announced last week, the Colorado Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission will hold virtual public hearings on Sept. 17 and Sept. 18. Individuals must sign up in advance to testify and sign ups will be limited to the first 40 people for each hearing. These hearings will be the final opportunity for members of the public to speak to the redistricting commission. Written public comments will remain open and available through the public hearing process and the consideration of final maps.
After the hearings on the legislative staff maps conclude, the commission can approve a final plan and submit it to the Supreme Court up until Oct. 11.