Making Democracy Work

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 eleven appointed members that will be convened no later than May 15 of 2011---the year following a census---to draw lines for the State House and Senate districts.

Within 113 days of convening, or when the necessary census data are available, whichever is later, the Commission will present a preliminary plan and hold public hearings. No later than 123 days prior to the date of the 2012 precinct caucuses, the Commission will finalize its plan and present it to the Colorado Supreme Court for approval. If disapproved, the Commission must revise its plan to conform to the court's requirements. The plan will then be submitted to the Secretary of State no later than 55 days prior to the caucus date.

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.

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

Public hearings are planned throughout the state from Feb 18 to March 25 including one for District 3 to be held on March 19th in Grand Junction. At present this is scheduled to be held at Mesa State College, College Center, Ballroom South, 1100 North Avenue, Grand Junction, CO 81501 from 9:00 AM + Noon. Check the committee website for directions, changes in time or location, and contact information.

Written testimony may be submitted via email to ConRedist2011@state.co.us or mailed to Redistricting Staff, 200 E. Colfax, Denver, CO 80203.

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.

Montrose County League of Women Voters

To inform Western Slope citizens about the redrawing of electoral boundaries in the state, President Karen Connor submitted a letter to the editor of local papers describing the committees and providing information on how the public can be involved in the process.