EL PASO COUNTY — After four months of debate and public input, the El Paso County Redistricting Commission unanimously approved a new county commissioner district map during its meeting on Tuesday.
This is the first redistricting for commissioner district boundaries in the county in six years. The new boundaries keep the precincts of southeast Colorado Springs intact in one district, which many residents pushed for during public comment. Areas like Monument and Fountain-Fort Carson are also kept together in their own district as communities of interest.
The former district map separated southeast Colorado Springs into three districts. Residents said the split diluted the votes of the community that shared common interests.
The Board of County Commissioners appointed themselves as the Redistricting Commission, which has drawn criticism from some voters. Detra Duncan with the League of Women Voters of the Pikes Peak Region said there should instead be an independent advisory committee to decide the boundaries instead of elected commissioners.
Commissioner Carrie Geitner argued that the elected commissioners know the districts the best and follow the criteria to stay balanced.
“I think we follow the criteria, that's the most important part and looking at those communities of interest," she said.
She said the criteria include keeping populations of districts within a 5% deviation, preserving whole communities of interest and political subdivisions, maximizing the number of politically competitive districts, and following the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
The new commissioner district map will first be used during the district elections in 2024.
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