Colorado’s Census delays leave candidates waiting, worrying about what 2022’s district lines will be
State expected to gain an eighth congressional district, and will likely miss constitutional deadline for new maps
The Denver Post
Delays at the U.S. Census Bureau threaten to upend Colorado’s redistricting process, leaving state and federal candidates guessing whether they will live in the district they seek to represent and prospective candidates in the dark as they weigh moves that could make or break careers.
“You have to prepare for the issues and focus on that district and you’re not going to know where the district is until December?” Republican strategist and former congressional campaign manager Tyler Sandberg said of the dilemma. “They’re going to lose all of 2021.”
The redistricting process, which happens once a decade, is messy even without Census delays. Incumbent legislators, who are friends and colleagues, are forced to run against each other. Some candidates quickly pack up and move, because Colorado’s constitution requires a candidate to live in a state legislative district for one year before the election. At stake is nothing less than party control of the Colorado General Assembly and Congress.
This year, the chaos is amplified because the data that dictates the new maps won’t arrive until as late as Sept. 30 — a delay of six months. Under the state constitution, Colorado’s redistricting commissions must draw maps by mid-September, an impossibility without the data. Further muddling matters is the expectation that Colorado will gain a congressional district, which is sure to significantly reshape the existing seven.
Read more at DenverPost.com.