Making Democracy Work

Colorado Reapportionment and Redistricting

How does Colorado redraw boundaries for the U.S. Congress and State House and Senate?

League Advocates for Passage of Amendments Y & Z

Fair and Competitive Districting + anti-Gerrymandering!

Did you know that if passed, Colorado would be the first and only state in the union to give a voice to unaffiliated voters in this process? A national model perhaps, as, after all, they represent about 1/3 of registered voters!

The politicians who represent us, the people, are elected by district. District lines are drawn every ten years following the census report. Currently drawing those lines is the responsibility of the legislature, the very folks whose elections depend on the boundary lines!

Amendments Y and Z would place that authority in two independent commissions, which is ever so important because it is obvious that over the years both of the state's largest political parties are responsible for working to keep themselves in the majority. In Colorado, only one of our seven U.S.

Congressional (House) districts is competitive, and only 4-5 of our state House and 5-6 of our state Senate districts are competitive---out of 100 total! It is quite fascinating to note that both our State House and our State Senate voted unanimously to refer these two amendments to the ballot! Evidently, they understand the status quo as well!

If Y and Z do not pass in 2018, there is one last chance (2019), otherwise not until the next census in 2030 could these proposals possibly be put into effect! State League has been working diligently and vigorously to bring measures to the ballot that match League positions on the criteria for the selection of the commissions' members, transparency and public input, maximum competitiveness of the districts, protection of minority voting strength, and judicial review of the maps. These do!

Again, it is truly important that these two amendments pass this year! The two biggest hurdles to the passage of these two truly important amendments are apathy and ignorance. Our ballots are long this year and full of legalese that may turn voters off. As League members we must do our parts to educate and advocate, and we have tools to accomplish this: ballot issues pamphlets, "Yes on Amendments Y and Z" tri-fold pamphlets, pins, yard signs, our knowledge and spreading the word to our families, friends, social groups, and community members.

Please let us know if you are able to assist! Here are two letters to the editor that you can personalize and send out: Letter for Y & Z V.1 Letter for Y & Z V.2

MANY thanks to LWVCO president, Toni Larson, and LWVCO Board Member, Jean Fredlund, for an engaging presentation yesterday. It was inspiring!

Bottom line: We the voters should choose our politicians, not the other way around!


In Colorado, the word "Reapportionment" constitutionally describes the process of determining state legislative boundaries. After a census, reflecting shifts in population statewide, the Colorado Reapportionment Commission reapportions the number of state senators not to exceed 35 and the number of state representatives not to exceed 65.

Colorado has a Reapportionment Commission composed of 11 appointed members that is convened in May of the year following a census to draw lines for the State House and Senate districts.


In Colorado the term "redistricting" is used to describe the re-drawing of U.S. Congressional Districts. The Colorado General Assembly will draw the lines for the US Congressional seats. Based on HB 10-1408, which passed in 2010, the following criteria will be used: population equality; compliance with the Voting Rights Act of 1965; preservation of political subdivisions; preservation of ethnic, cultural,economic, trade area, geographic and demographic factors; compactness; and minimal disruption of prior district lines.

The General Assembly has established a bipartisan Joint Select Committee to draw boundaries for the State House and Senate Districts.

How Do The Committees Work?

Download charts that show how the committee members are chosen and how the committees function.

League of Women Voters of the U.S. Position on Reapportionment

LWVUS Position: "The LWVUS believes that congressional districts and government legislative bodies should be apportioned substantially on population. The League is convinced that this standard, established by the Supreme Court, should be maintained and that the US Constitution should not be amended to allow for consideration of factors other than population in apportionment. "

League of Women Voters of Colorado Position on Reapportionment

LWVCO Position: (in Brief) "Support of an independent commission to reapportion the Colorado state legislature. Support of apportionment of both houses of the state legislature and Colorado U.S. congressional districts based on specific criteria." Criteria are:
1. As nearly equal population in each district within a 5% deviation.
2. As compact as possible with linear distances of boundaries as short as possible.
3. No part of a county shall be added to all or part of another county if possible.
4. Communities of interest-ethnic, cultural, economic trade area, geographic and demographic factors-shall be preserved in a single district, if possible, based on above criteria.

Redistricting & Reapportionment Resources