Colorado redistricting commissioners deliberated outside public view — after promise of transparency

The Denver Gazette: Colorado’s new independent redistricting commission came with a promise of transparency and public inclusion, but in the days leading up to their adoption of a set of legislative maps, commissioners spent significant time working outside of public meetings.

In the final two weeks of the legislative redistricting commission’s work, hundreds of emails volleyed among commissioners. Some spoke on the phone several times. Others kept running text message conversations for days on end.

And while some of their communications focused on procedural logistics, like providing lists of which map plans were slated for discussion at upcoming hearings or reviewing the voting procedures they would use, many of the conversations included substantive debate about maps, suggestions for or critiques of maps, surveys of commissioners’ support or opposition to plans, in order to identify and build consensus, and the sharing of talking points and coordinated strategies to support or oppose certain maps.

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