gerrymandering

Applications are open for those who would like to draw new boundaries for legislators and members of Congress, once the results of the current census are in.

It's history in the making: These are the first two independent commissions to take on the chore in Colorado, after the passage of amendments Y and Z in 2018 to take the job away from the partisan-minded members of the legislature. 

Those districts, however, tended to favor the party that had the majority in the state House and Senate. Boundaries are redrawn every 10 years to account for population shifts, but how those lines are drawn can reward incumbents with districts safe for their party's reelection, a manipulative process called gerrymandering.

The maps usually are decided by the courts after the negotiations at the Capitol break down.

The commissions launched a joint website Wednesday, which you can find by clicking here, and announced they would begin accepting applications on Aug. 10. The commissions' Twitter account, controlled by staff, is  @CORedistricting. 

The commissions, one for the legislature and another for congressional districts, are to be made up of four members each from the two major parties and four unaffiliated members. The district map would have to be approved by eight of the 12 members, including at least two of the unaffiliated members.

If a map did make it to court, a judge would have a defined statement of intent about what the maps were meant to do rather than a shell game of politics.

The staff is accepting written questions about the application process through Aug. 5, and will field in-person comments on Friday at 10 a.m. at the Old Supreme Court Library on the second floor of the state Capitol.

Those planning to testify are encouraged to send an email or sign up to attend in advance on the website,  colorado.redistricting2020@state.co.us.

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