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News for Norther Colorado and the world

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The importance of Census

Dear Editor,

The 2018 election season is upon us and terminology related to the election can be confusing – two being apportionment and districting.

Apportionment determines the number of representatives to the U.S. House of Representative allotted to each state based on population. Each state gets two senators, but population determines the number of representatives.

Districting is the process of drawing the lines to establish the population each U.S. House member will represent.  Both apportionment and districting are determined by the Census, as the number of representatives is recalculated, and the districts are redrawn after the census.

After the 2020 census, Colorado will likely be apportioned an additional congressional district/representative due to our population growth. Redistricting guidelines are in the works now in preparation for the 2020 census.

Due to the shift in population within the state, district lines will also have to be redrawn to establish the 65 House districts and the 35 Senate districts of the Colorado Assembly.

We need to ensure an accurate census and that the districts are drawn by an impartial, independent body that works to guarantee an equal voice to all Coloradans. In 2000, redistricting was done badly, delayed several years, and finally decided in 2004 by the Colorado Supreme Court. After the 2010 census, a politician commission drew district lines that resulted in a reasonably balanced map.  Colorado has elected both state and national legislative members whose party affiliation reflects the popular vote. This commission is currently being restructured and controversy surrounds this ongoing process. Citizens need to pay attention and be engaged to see that this process creates districts where all Coloradans are represented.

Jane Everham

Fort Collins, Colorado

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