Every ten years, Colorado redraws its federal, state, and local legislative district maps. This process is meant to ensure that as populations grow and change, every Coloradan can have equal representation and equal voice in government.
We’re fighting for fair, transparent, and equitable redistricting at every level — advocating for legislation like the Freedom to Vote Act to help end partisan gerrymandering, bringing Coloradans to testify at public hearings, and telling our mapmakers the story of communities across Coloradans.
Redistricting in Colorado
In Colorado, both congressional and state legislative redistricting is controlled by an independent commission — one for each process — and not by the state legislature. This means that our mapmakers are more likely to base their maps on public input — not partisan ambition.
Each commission is made up of 12 members: four Democrats, four Republicans, and four unaffiliated Coloradans. One commission draws Colorado’s U.S. House districts, while the other draws Colorado Senate and House districts.
Mapmakers must prioritize:
- Districts must comply with the provisions of the US Constitution and Voting Rights Act and keep districts reasonably equal in population.
- Keeping communities of interest and political subdivisions whole.
- Maximizing the number of politically competitive districts
Districts may not be drawn:
- To protect one or more incumbents, declared candidates, or political parties.
- With intent or effect of denial/abridgment of voting rights or vote dilution because of race or membership in a language minority group.
In Colorado, ongoing litigation may impact the final maps.
Why Redistricting Matters for Colorado
When done fairly, redistricting is a chance for political power to be equitably distributed across different communities, making sure everyone has a seat at the table.
Unfortunately, redistricting has historically been conducted behind closed doors with little to no public input, meaning they don’t have an accurate picture of what our communities look like.
Even worse, when politicians have the power to draw electoral maps, they manipulate district lines to divide or pack together certain populations, keeping themselves and their party in power. It’s called gerrymandering – and it’s a major threat to our democracy.
That’s why Common Cause Colorado has been leading the fight for fair districts. We helped draft and pass Amendments Y and Z to create independent redistricting commissions for both the congressional and state legislative redistricting processes. When independent commissions control redistricting, our districts will be drawn based on public input and data, and we have a better chance at truly representative districts.
Key Dates For Colorado 2021 Redistricting
Hearings are held across from May through September to take testimony about communities of interest. When the Commission receives the federal Census data, they use it in combination with public input to create draft maps. Once the Commission processes the data, displays draft maps, and holds hearings to get public feedback to revise the maps, the maps are finalized and certified.
The Commissions concluded public hearings on September 18th, but they are still accepting public comments online. You can submit your public comment using this webform. Use our public comment guide to help prepare your comments.
The Commissions’ meetings are all open to the public, listen to upcoming meetings here::
- Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission: September 24 at 1:00 pm
- Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission: September 24 at 2:00 pm
- Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission: September 25 at 10:00 am
- Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission: September 26 at 1:00 pm
To submit public comments, please go to https://redistricting.colorado.gov/public_comments/new.For more ways to get involved, please visit https://redistricting.colorado.gov/content/opportunities-for-public-engagement.
Colorado Redistricting Resources
Use these resources to learn more about how you can get involved in fighting for fair districts and stopping gerrymandering in Colorado.