Making Democracy Work

Colorado Reapportionment and Redistricting

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

Reapportionment

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.

Redistricting

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