Again, with the pandemic causing a lag in the release of the official census data, Hollingshead’s timeline is up in the air right now.
“Very much as Carly talked about those timelines being in flux this year, we want to make sure that that process has a full opportunity to play out at the state and county level,” she explained. “And that we’ve got that good information to move forward with.”
The process to make any changes is by ordinance and will include a public hearing as well as the city council passing the ordinance.
“It’s ultimately the final determination by the city council to approve the final boundaries,” Hollingshead said. “I do anticipate that through the course of this year we will be working with the council to identify what the process is that they would like us to follow, what kind of formal citizen engagement we will use in that process and what parameters the council sees as being most important in looking at when we’re looking at those boundary adjustments.”
The city’s deadline to make any changes is 90 days before the next municipal election, which is scheduled for 2023.
As communities grow, the process of redrawing voting districts is important to ensure fair elections continue across our country.
With the 2020 Census in the process of finalizing data, district lines in Weld County and Greeley are expected to see some changes this year.
Districts determine how communities are represented at local, state and federal levels. Each district is created with nearly the same number of people within it to ensure that everyone’s voice is represented equally.
Redistricting is the process in which determines how congressional and state legislative district boundaries are drawn, according to BallotPedia, an online encyclopedia of politics. District lines are redrawn every 10 years after the U.S. census is completed.
In March, the League of Women Voters Greeley/Weld County hosted an online seminar to explain the ins and outs of redistricting and why it is beneficial to elections.
“The League of Women Voters of Colorado has worked alongside many organization including the Fair Maps Colorado Coalition to reform the state’s redistricting process in 2018, when ballot measures Y and Z were overwhelming passed,” Barbara Whinery, a member of the League of Women Voters-Greeley/Weld County, said.
The measures established an independent commission to begin the process that would include equal representations of Republicans, Democrats and Independents, as well as citizens’ input into the process of drawing congressional and district lines in Colorado, Whinery explained.
GREELEY, CO – OCTOBER 31:A voter pulls up and drops their ballot into the 24-hour drop box outside of Greeley City Hall in downtown Greeley Oct. 31, 2020. 16 of the boxes are available for Weld County voters to use around the county from the start of early voting through 7:00pm on Election Day. (Alex McIntyre/Staff Photographer)
The process of redrawing districts begins with the appointment of 12 independent congressional and 12 independent legislative commissioners made up of equal members from the Republican, Democratic and Independent parties. A list of the commissioners, along with a bio for each, can be found online at www.redistricting.colorado.gov.
“This process was designed to resolve concerns and issues about redistricting that have been called gerrymandering,” Whinery said. “Both parties are guilty of drawing lines to have districts favor one party or the other in order to have a majority of voters. It was felt that the independent commission would be more transparent and create competitive districts.”
It will be the first time this process under the Y and Z measures has taken place in Colorado.
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Source:: The Denver Post
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