Arapahoe County recently unveiled a map-making tool that allows residents to take the redistricting process into their own hands.
The Redistricter program allows users to move precincts around the County’s five existing districts to create new, practical boundaries. Users can then submit their maps as a PDF file through an online comment form or bring them to public meetings for consideration.
Redistricter was designed by Senior GIS Administrator Dominick Cisson. Cisson worked on the County’s last redistricting effort in 2010, but says there was “little direct public input at the time.”
He hopes Redistricter will give “people who wouldn’t otherwise have the ability to visualize the redistricting process a way to try it for themselves, and a better feel for the idiosyncrasies of trying to balance districts.”
The redistricting process began in December 2022 with the appointment of the Arapahoe County Citizens Redistricting Advisory Committee. The Committee is holding public meetings through April (or May, if necessary) to develop draft maps that maintain nearly equal populations across districts and preserve communities of interest, among other criteria.
Committee members have begun using Redistricter to make their own maps and compare their differing visions for the County. Those who have used it remarked on how easy the tool is to use.
“Select a district from the list, and click on the map to add one or more precincts to that district,” Cisson said. “District populations will automatically update. And remember, you can’t break anything.”
In the spring, Committee members will approve three draft maps to present at open hearings in each district. Criteria they must also consider include political competitiveness and preserving communities of interest. Public input from those meetings will inform final recommendations the Committee will make to the Board of County Commissioners, which will approve a final plan in August.
To learn more about Arapahoe County’s redistricting process, view meeting livestreams and recordings, and submit comments, go to www.arapahoegov.com/redistricting.