Colorado redistricting commissions seeking applicants
In 2018, Colorado voters overwhelmingly approved Amendments Y and Z, which established independent citizen commissions to handle congressional and Colorado General Assembly redistricting procedures following each census.
Prior to the approval of Amendment Z, the year after each national census, a group known as the Colorado Reapportionment Commission (CRC) was tasked with updating the district boundaries for both chambers of the Colorado General Assembly. The CRC is comprised of 11 members; one selected by each the Speaker of the House, House Minority Leader, Senate Majority Leader and Senate Minority Leader, three are appointed by the governor and the remaining four are appointed by the Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court. A ballot measure in 1974 created the CRC.
Likewise, prior to the approval of Amendment Y, the district boundaries for Colorado’s seven Congressional districts – those which represent Coloradoans in the U.S. House of Representatives – are developed by members of the Colorado General Assembly and introduced to the legislature just like any other piece of legislation. The bills then go through the same voting process as all other legislation, require majority approval and will be either signed or vetoed by the governor. Prior to the 2022 election, Colorado is expected to gain one or possibly even two seats, in the U.S. House.
In order to serve on either redistricting committee, an application must be completed and submitted by Nov. 10 of this year. There are a number of stipulations to serve on the committee including, but not limited to the following:
-All applicants must be registered to vote in Colorado
-Must have voted in the last two general elections (2016 and 2018) in Colorado
-Must have been affiliated with the same political party or not affiliated with any political party for the last five years.
-Congressional redistricting commissioners cannot have been a candidate for federal office within the last five years or been paid by a member of or candidate for Congress within the last three years.
-Legislative redistricting commissioners cannot have been a candidate for the state legislature within the last five years or been paid by a member of or candidate for the state legislature within the last three years.
-Commissioners on either commission cannot have been any of the following within the last three years: professional registered lobbyists, certain elected public officials, or elected political party officials above the precinct level.
-No commissioners may serve on both commissions.
The applications are reviewed by a non-partisan commission staff who assure that the qualifications outlined above are met. Subsequently, a panel of three retired judges will review the applications after an initial random selection and then narrow the pools of candidates for each commission further before a final random selection.
Those selected will be required to attend between four and six meetings, most likely held in Denver at the State Capitol Building, during February and March 2021 as well as attend the constitutionally required three public forums held in each of the state’s seven congressional districts. Each commissioner will be paid a per diem of $200 per meeting.
Applications for both commissions and further information on the requirements can be found at https://redistricting.colorado.gov/.
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