FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 15, 2021
Colorado Independent Redistricting Commission Counsel Submits Final Legislative Plans to Colorado Supreme Court
DENVER -- Today, redistricting counsel submitted the final legislative plans to the Colorado Supreme Court. The filing can be viewed at https://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Supreme_Court/Amicus.cfm.
The state house plan was adopted by the Colorado Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission on Monday, Oct. 11 with a vote of 11 commissioners in favor and one opposed. The state senate plan was adopted unanimously by the commission on Tuesday, Oct. 12. Both plans can be viewed or downloaded at https://redistricting.colorado.gov/content/2021-redistricting-maps.
According to the Colorado Constitution, the Supreme Court shall review the submitted plans and determine whether the plans comply with the criteria listed in section 48.1 of article V of the constitution. The Court's review and determination shall take precedence over other matters before it.
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.
- 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.
The Colorado Supreme Court will approve the plans submitted unless it finds that the commission abused its discretion in applying or failing to apply the criteria listed above. The Court must approve or return the plans by Nov. 15. If the Court returns one or both of the plans, the commission will have 12 days to hold a commission hearing that includes public testimony and to file one or more revised plans that resolve the Court's reasons for disapproval. The Supreme Court will then have until Dec. 29 to approve the revised plan or plans.