Colorado’s first congressional redistricting map represents a good start
Colorado’s Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission issued its first map last week. At first blush, it looks like a solid attempt by commission staff to honor competing constitutional requirements.
Not only does the new map have to adjust for population fluctuations across the state, but it is now required to incorporate competitiveness as a factor and add an entirely new eighth district due to our state’s comparative growth. It may sound simple in theory, but it is exceedingly hard.
I served on the state legislative version of this commission 10 years ago. I remember large conference rooms tables covered in multiple different variations of maps, each one incrementally better in one respect but always at the cost of another.
To limit county divides, cities would be split. To make compact districts, communities of interest would be diluted. To keep communities of interest together, counties would be divided. It felt like a map-making version of an ouroboros, the unending loop created by a snake eating its own tail.
And that is without other pit vipers taking a bite at you.