Neb. and Colo. redistricting updates
Colorado’s Congressional Redistricting Commission approved a map on an 11-1 vote, and it is headed to the Supreme Court. The map was approved after seven rounds of late-night voting with the single dissenting vote cast by Denver Democratic Commissioner Simon Tafoya.
According to non-partisan staff, the commission heard 5,188 comments in addition to testimony during 44 public meetings and while the final voting meeting was tense, the map includes competitive districts.
According to the Colorado Sun, the final approved plan districts would shape up this way:
•The 1st District would continue to be Denver-centric and a safe Democratic district.
•The 2nd District would cover the northwest counties of Routt, Jackson, Larimer, Grand, Clear Creek, Gilpin, Jackson and Summit, and also include most of Boulder and Eagle counties. It would also include parts of Weld County and more than 1,800 people from Jefferson County
•The 3rd District would include most of the Western Slope and southern Colorado, including Pueblo.
•The 4th District would be compromised of Douglas County, including Castle Rock, as well as Loveland and other parts of Larimer County. The Eastern Plains, including Weld County and eastern Adams and Arapahoe counties, would also be in the district.
•The 5th District would be centered in Colorado Springs, including military bases in El Paso County.
•The 6th District includes Aurora and include much of Arapahoe County, as well as parts of Adams, Jefferson and Douglas counties.
•The 7th District would be a reconfigured, competitive district including much of Jefferson County but also Lake, Park, Teller, Chaffee, Custer and Fremont counties in the central mountains.
•The new 8th District would include the north Denver suburbs of Thornton, Commerce City, Brighton and Northglenn, as well as most of Westminster and all of Greeley.
The agreed upon map and supporting documentation must be submitted to the Colorado Supreme Court by Friday. Once the court receives the map, outside parties have seven days, or until noon on Oct. 8 at the latest, to file any objections or input on the map with the court. The court will hold oral arguments at 1 p.m. on Oct. 12.
The court set a deadline of Nov. 1 to rule on whether to sign off on the plan, though it could order the commission to reconvene to make changes if it finds the panel “abused its discretion in applying or failing to apply Constitutional criteria. Those include equal population; contiguous districts; compliance with Voting Rights Act of 1965; keep geographic communities and communities of interest intact; be compact; and be competitive.
The 12-member legislative commission must submit its new state House and Senate maps to the Supreme Court by Oct. 15.
In Nebraska, the redistricting process is done by a legislative committee and six maps were approved and signed by Gov. Pete Ricketts Thursday morning. The maps redistrict boundaries of legislative, Congressional; Supreme Court judicial, public service commissions, UNL Board of Regents, State Board of Education districts.
Changes to the legislative map specific to the Lincoln area were a point of contention and bring rural areas into Lincoln district.
Mark McHargue, President, Nebraska Farm Bureau said in a statement that he appreciated the work of the 49 legislators and the quick signature of Gov. Ricketts.
“We recognize there is an ongoing shift in population in our state from rural to urban population centers,” McHargue said. “With that in mind, our ask of the Legislature in the redistricting process was for the body to recognize the importance of maintaining rural voices in this effort, given the vital role agriculture and rural Nebraska play in our state. Agriculture is the largest driver of our state’s economy, generating one out of every four jobs with those jobs being located across Nebraska. While not perfect, we feel the results of the Legislature’s efforts largely respected our ask, for the betterment of our entire state. The fact that senators came together to reach an agreement so our state can move forward is positive. We look forward to working with all our elected leaders to help grow opportunities for all Nebraska.”
The Committee consists of Sen. Lou Ann Linehan, Chairperson; Sen. Carol Blood; Sen. Tom Briese; Sen. Tom Brewer; Sen. Suzanne Geist; Sen. Steve Lathrop; Sen. John Lowe; Sen. Adam Morfeld; and Sen. Justin Wayne.
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