In 2018, the League of Women Voters of Colorado successfully led the advocacy community in passing Amendments Y and Z, which established the Colorado Independent Congressional and Legislative Redistricting Commissions, which will draw Colorado’s congressional and state legislative districts in 2021 following the 2020 census. These amendments effectively eliminate partisan gerrymandering in Colorado!
Since 2018, LWVCO has advocated for community members to serve on the two independent redistricting commissions, established and trained an observer corps to monitor the progress of the commissions, and regularly attends ongoing meetings. League of Women Voters experts including Dr. Beth Malmskog and Dr. Toni Larson lead these efforts and would be happy to speak with you. Please email us!
Legislative Commission Updates
Final Approved State House Plan
On Oct. 11, 2021, the Colorado Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission approved a final State House plan. The plan was approved by a vote of 11 in favor and one opposed, fulfilling the constitutional requirement that a final map must be approved by a supermajority of eight of the 12 commissioners, including at least two unaffiliated commissioners. The commission settled on the plan unofficially titled HA.013 and made minor adjustments to the plan during the meeting, adopting it as HA.015. It will now be titled the Final Approved Plan.
Final Approved State Senate Plan
On Oct. 12, 2021, the Colorado Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission approved a final State Senate plan. The plan was approved in an unanimous vote, fulfilling the constitutional requirement that a final map must be approved by a supermajority of eight of the 12 commissioners, including at least two unaffiliated commissioners. The commission approved the plan unofficially titled SA.016. It will now be titled the Final Approved Plan.
Now that the Colorado Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission has approved both maps, counsel submitted the approved plans to the Colorado Supreme Court on Oct. 15, 2021. 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.
Congressional Commission Updates
The Colorado Supreme Court heard oral arguments in support and in opposition of the final congressional plan on Oct. 12, 2021. Redistricting counsel submitted a reply in support of the approval of the submitted plan, which can be read here.
If the Colorado Supreme Court determines that the submitted plan constitutes an abuse of discretion in applying or failing to apply the criteria above, the Court can return the plan to the commission with the Court’s reasons for disapproval. If the Court returns the plan, the commission will have 12 days to hold a commission hearing that includes public testimony and to return an adopted plan that resolves the Court’s reasons for disapproval. The Colorado Supreme Court will then have until Dec. 15 to approve the revised plan.
The eyes of the nation and state are on this exciting and unique process to draw new district maps. Check out some of the latest news!
Alamosa News: Congressional Redistricting Commission finishes their task
Colorado Sun: Redistricting Commission approves new Colorado House map
Denver Post: Colorado commission picks new maps for the state House and Senate
Summit Daily: Final Colorado Legislature maps move to state Supreme Court after redistricting commission gives thumbs up