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DENVER (KDVR) — The proposed maps for Colorado’s new congressional districts show big changes in how the state’s voters will be grouped.

Colorado has gained an eighth congressional district, and the state’s new independent redistricting commissions are drawing new maps to accommodate the newly defined representative areas.

The commission has to try to keep the population balanced as much as possible, with each district having about 720,000 people in it.

The biggest changes are coming to current districts two and three. People have said they want the state to include a southern district, which the proposed new map accommodates.

But to make that happen and balance the population, the Western Slope was split. This is likely to upset some people who live there — and the commission acknowledged that when it held a press conference on the proposed maps on Monday.

“I suspect we’ll hear that people in the western part of the new CD 2 are not in favor of this,” said Jerry Berry, with the Colorado Independent Redistricting Commissions. “The reason was clearly to have a southern district. You’re going to have to put the northwestern part of the state in with a population center someplace.”

Just weeks left before final map is chosen

The commission has virtual meetings for the next three days to hear what Coloradans have to say about the current proposed map. (The meeting schedule is posted at the bottom of this story.) Then, the commission will draw another two maps — three in total.

The 12 commission members then vote on the maps. They need a supermajority of eight people to approve a map — and this must be done by Sept. 28.

If not, the third map is automatically chosen.

The chosen map then goes to the Colorado Supreme Court, which has to give the final OK by Dec. 15.

Then, the campaigning for midterm elections will really get going.

Congressional redistricting meeting schedule

  • Tuesday, Sept. 7 – 6-9 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 8 – 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 9 – 1-4 p.m.
  • Friday, Sept. 10 – 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Legislative redistricting meeting schedule

Colorado is also redrawing maps for state legislators. Meetings are scheduled as follows:

  • Friday, Sept. 17 – 6-9 p.m.
  • Saturday, Sept. 18 – 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Saturday, Sept. 18 – 6-9 p.m.