Frequently Asked Questions about Colorado Redistricting Commission
Are commissioners on the redistricting commission paid?
Members of the commissions receive $200 per day for attendance at regularly scheduled meetings of the commission and are reimbursed for expenses incurred while performing official duties. but they do not receive a salary.
What is the timeline, when will this all happen?
Coloradans who want to apply to serve on the redistricting commissions must do so by November 10, 2020. Colorado’s nonpartisan commission staff anticipate that commission meetings will begin in February or March of 2021. Census and redistricting data should be delivered to states in the Spring or Summer 2021 and the final maps are due to the Colorado Supreme Court by September 2021.
However, given COVID-19 and the changing census timelines, it is possible some of the commission meetings will be on a compressed timeline in the spring and summer 2021, but the final map deadline stays the same. Members of the commissions will also set some of their own rules and procedures.
What will the time commitment be if I’m chosen to serve on the commission?
The legislative staff anticipate that the commissions will meet 4 to 6 times in February and March of 2021 and at least 25 times in the summer and early fall of 2021. In 2011, California used a redistricting process that had many similarities to Colorado’s process and commissioners reported that they spent between 10 and 40 hours a week on commission-related work. It’s likely that a significant amount of the work will happen on evenings and weekends when more people can participate in public meetings.
I’m affiliated with a minor party; can I apply for the commission?
The state constitution specifies that each commission must include four commissioners who are not affiliated with any political party (unaffiliated), four commissioners affiliated with the state’s largest political party (Democratic Party), and four commissioners who are affiliated with the state’s second largest political party (Republican Party). Those affiliated with a minor political party (Green, Libertarian, etc.) are not eligible to serve on either commission.
I’m not eligible or don’t have time to be on the commission. Can I still be involved?
Yes! The public will have at least 21 opportunities to participate in the process during public meetings. You can also encourage your friends and neighbors to apply. You can find information on when public meetings will be held here.
I have a criminal conviction, am I still eligible to serve on the commissions?
Yes! As long as you meet the other qualifications you are qualified to serve on the commission regardless of prior conviction.
I have a disability, am I still eligible to serve on the commissions? Will accommodations be made so I can participate?
Yes! The commissions need to represent Colorado’s diversity. This includes people with disabilities. The commission doesn’t have quotas for representation from different communities, but it will be strongest if people from all different backgrounds and life experiences are well represented.
Will commission meetings be virtual or in-person?
The commission is required to have at least 21 public meetings. Currently, the legislative staff is expecting that those meetings will be in person. Given the dynamic nature of COVID-19 it is possible that there could be changes in the future.
I’ve never heard of this before, do other states have independent redistricting commissions?
This is a brand new process for the state of Colorado and there are unique aspects of Colorado’s commissions. Independent redistricting commissions are not new, however, and eight other states now have independent redistricting commissions and four have advisory commissions.
Will my role as a commissioner be public?
Yes, Commissioners are subject to open meeting requirements and all of your communications related to the redistricting commission is subject to open records requests.
Are there restrictions around my political activity while I’m serving on the commission? Will people try to influence my decision making?
Yes, while serving in this role commissioners are considered elected officials and are subject to open meeting requirements laws and anti bribery and abuse of public office prohibitions.
How can Coloradans participate if they aren’t selected to serve on the Commission?
Before the Commission draws maps, it must hold 25 public hearings across the state to hear from citizens how they want their communities to be represented. After the Commission drafts final maps, it is required to hold public hearings to gather feedback from citizens before the maps are adopted. Any citizens can submit comments, concerns, feedback, and proposed maps for the Commission in person, online, or by mail at any time during the process.
I want more information or I’m part of a community group that might want more information, who should I reach out to?
There are many community groups engaging in the work of creating fair maps! Reach out to Amanda Gonzalez at Colorado Common Cause (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Olivia Mendoza at All on the Line (email@example.com) for more information. You can also subscribe to updates from the nonpartisan legislative staff managing the process by emailing Colorado.firstname.lastname@example.org