Arapahoe County set to redraw county commissioner districts

A nine-member citizen advisory committee will start a public process

Nina Joss
njoss@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 1/6/23

Arapahoe County's commissioners have given approval to a process that will redraw their own boundaries, meaning constituencies could change …

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Arapahoe County set to redraw county commissioner districts

A nine-member citizen advisory committee will start a public process

Posted

Arapahoe County's commissioners have given approval to a process that will redraw their own boundaries, meaning constituencies could change.

The commissioners have tasked a nine-member Citizens Redistricting Advisory Committee to lead the process, which begins this month.

By law, Colorado counties must redraw commissioner district boundaries every 10 years, in line with new population data. Because of delays in 2020 Census information, Colorado's legislators granted counties extra time to complete redistricting.

Committee members

The advisory committee was chosen by commissioners through an application process last year. It includes three Democrats, three Republicans and three unaffiliated members. Alternate members have also been assigned in case they're needed.

Commissioner Jeff Baker of District 3 said the equal distribution of members, including those who are unaffiliated, is meant to ensure fairness.

“This whole process is intended to limit, if not eliminate, gerrymandering,” he said. “The whole idea is that one party does not have more constituents in any one commissioner district.”

Gerrymandering is political talk for attempts by parties, groups and incumbents to shape districts to their advantage.

Process

The advisory committee is expected to consider population data and projected growth in its recommendations, details that are outlined on Arapahoe County’s website. In addition, they are tasked with drawing boundaries that maintain political competitiveness and consider input from county residents.

They also will consider "communities of interest," which could include school districts, cities, home owners associationss and/or other groups that have common interests, according to Baker.

Based on the committee’s recommendations, county staffers will create maps for public review and comment.

Commissioners will approve an official redistricting map by Sept. 30.

If boundaries change so that a commissioner no longer resides in the district they represent, they will continue representing their original district until the next election in 2024.

Voters will also be notified if their district boundaries have changed, Baker added.

“I think this is yet another way for people to become involved in their governmental process, when we go around and we have community outreach in every one of the districts,” he said. “It's not just relying only on the subject matter experts — we're getting community feedback on this.”

Meeting dates for the Citizens Redistricting Advisory Committee will soon be posted on the city's website, according to Chris Henning, a spokesperson for the county.

redistricting, county commissioner districts, arapahoe county districts, census, Citizens Redistricting Advisory Committe

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