Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. Pursuant to Senate Bill 20-186, members of the commissions receive a per diem of $200 for attendance at regularly scheduled meetings of the commission, as well as reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses incurred while performing official duties, together with mileage at the rate at which members of the General Assembly are reimbursed ($0.52/mile). The law also specifies that a member of the commission who is a state officer or employee shall not claim per diem compensation from more than one source for official activities on the same day.
Commissioners will be selected by March 1 (congressional commission) or March 16 (legislative commission), 2021. Staff anticipates each commission will meet periodically in March and April, 2021, for organization and training purposes. After that, the commissions' work depends on data from the US Census Bureau. Pandemic-related delays in conducting the census have also led to delays in data release, and states have not been given a time frame for when they will receive their redistricting data. Once staff is able to prepare preliminary maps for the commissions, the state constitution requires each commission to conduct at least 3 public hearings on these maps in each of the state's 7 congressional districts. The commissions will need to decide how to handle these hearings, what level of remote participation to allow, and the frequency of expected travel. All of these factors make it difficult to determine the time commitment, but staff expects that there will be some times where a commissioner with other employment will need to take time off that work to fulfill their redistricting duties.
Sign up for our mailing list. There is a link in the footer of the website. Staff will also tweet information @CORedistricting.
The Colorado Constitution allows the commissions to set rules establishing electronic attendance at commission hearings. We anticipate opportunities for commissioners to participate virtually and for members of the public to testify remotely before the commissions. Members of the public will also be able to submit maps and written comments online, and audio from all hearings will be broadcast online and recorded.
Applying to Be a Commissioner
Applications were available beginning August 10, 2020, and had to be submitted by November 10, 2020.
Yes. If you wish to be considered for both commissions you must apply separately to each commission. However, you cannot be selected to serve on both commissions.
The Colorado Constitution requires candidates for the redistricting commissions to be "either unaffiliated with any political party or affiliated with the same political party for a consecutive period of no less than five years at the time of the application." If you have changed your affiliation in the last five years, you are not eligible to serve as a commissioner.
The state constitution specifies that each commission must include four commissioners who are not affiliated with any political party (unaffiliated), four commissioners affiliated with the state's largest political party (Democratic Party), and four commissioners who are affiliated with the state's second largest political party (Republican Party). Those affiliated with a minor political party (Green, Libertarian, etc.) are not eligible to serve on either commission.
Letters of recommendation and other supplemental materials can be addressed to Jessika Shipley, Staff Director, and submitted as part of the online application.
The state constitution puts restrictions on commissioners that are reflected in the application process. The application wizard will reject applicants who are ineligible to be commissioners based on their answers to the questions. All applicants must be registered to vote in Colorado, must have voted in the last two general elections (2016 and 2018) in Colorado, and must have been affiliated with the same political party or not affiliated with any political party for the last five years. Congressional redistricting commissioners cannot have been a candidate for federal office within the last five years or been paid by a member of or candidate for Congress within the last three years. Legislative redistricting commissioners cannot have been a candidate for the state legislature within the last five years or been paid by a member of or candidate for the state legislature within the last three years. Commissioners on either commission cannot have been any of the following within the last three years: professional registered lobbyists, certain elected public officials, or elected political party officials above the precinct level. No commissioners may serve on both commissions.
The state constitution prohibits anyone from applying who is or was "an elected public official at the federal, state, county, or municipal level in Colorado" within the three years preceding the application deadline. This means that since November 10, 2017, you cannot apply if you have held any of the following elected positions: U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, State Treasurer, Secretary of State, State Senator, State Representative, State Board of Education, University of Colorado Board of Regents, County Commissioner, Clerk and Recorder, Sheriff, Coroner, Surveyor, Assessor, Treasurer, Mayor, City Council Member, Town Trustee, or any other elected federal, state, county, or municipal official. Those holding elected positions on school boards or for special districts are not excluded from applying. Additionally, an applicant for the Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission cannot have been a candidate for federal elective office since November 10, 2015, and an applicant for the Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission cannot have been a candidate for the General Assembly since November 10, 2015.
(UPDATED) Yes. Full applications are public records subject to the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA). Phone numbers, email addresses, and birthdates will be redacted before applications are released under CORA. Now that the commissions are seated, we have removed the application listings from the website.
Applicant Review Process
Nonpartisan commission staff will review all applications to make sure they meet minimum qualifications. Panels of retired judges will review applicants after an initial random selection, and narrow the pools before another random selection. Legislative leadership will also be able to review applications to select their pools of candidates.
Staff is working with the Secretary of State's office to review each applicant's voter registration record. To qualify to be a commissioner, an applicant must have been affiliated with the same political party or no political party continuously for the last five years (since November 10, 2015) and must have voted in the 2016 and 2018 general elections in Colorado.
Applicants who staff found not to meet the minimum qualifications were contacted by email. They were asked to respond to the email within a week if they needed to correct anything or provide information to help document that they were qualified to be a commissioner.
In addition to random selection and judicial review, four commissioners for each commission will be selected from lists produced by the majority and minority leaders of the State Senate and the State House of Representatives. They can choose any eligible applicants to put on their lists of ten each. This is the last opportunity for consideration if your application was not selected in the random draw.