Every ten years, New Mexico redraws its federal, state, and local legislative district maps. This process is meant to ensure that as populations grow and change, every New Mexico voter 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 New Mexico residents to testify at public hearings, and telling our mapmakers the story of communities across New Mexico.

For the first time in our state’s history, New Mexico is utilizing an advisory Citizen Redistricting Committee (CRC), which allows for a more transparent process with more meaningful public participation. The CRC will submit maps to the legislature for consideration, and we’re urging lawmakers to adopt or explain amendments made to the CRC maps. Visit the CRC site for more information at NMRedistricting.org.

 

New Mexico State Legislative and Senate Districts

In New Mexico, both congressional and state legislative redistricting is ultimately controlled by the state legislature.  In 2021, the legislature voted to create an advisory commission to help draw federal and state lines. The legislature can choose to adopt, modify, or ignore any proposed maps from the commission.

When partisan politicians control the mapmaking process, we’re especially vulnerable to gerrymandering — which is why it’s so important we push our lawmakers to be transparent and consider public testimony and the work of the CRC every step of the way.

 

Mapping Criteria

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.
  • Compactness
  • Maximizing the number of politically competitive districts

Districts may not be drawn:

  • To protect one or more incumbents, declared candidates, or political party.
  • With intent or effect of denial/abridgement of voting rights or vote dilution because of race or membership in language minority group.

Why Redistricting Matters for New Mexico

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.

Key Dates For New Mexico 2021 Redistricting

Hearings are held across New Mexico to take public comments. When the commission/legislature receives the federal Census data, they use that with public input to create draft maps. Once these draft maps are released, they hold hearings to get public feedback and revise the maps, before sending a finalized version to the Governor’s desk, who can veto or approve.

Public hearings have officially begun in New Mexico! Find a full schedule of public hearing dates, as well as information on how to join here: https://www.commoncause.org/new-mexico/democracy-wire/upcoming-map-meetings-of-the-citizen-redistricting-committee/ 

 

New Mexico Redistricting Resources

Common Cause New Mexico has been leading the charge for fair, inclusive, and transparent redistricting. Read more about our biggest campaigns.