Bernalillo County has started the process of remapping political boundaries in response to population changes documented by the 2020 Census. The county’s part of the larger redistricting effort by the state Legislature is limited to redrawing the geographical boundaries that correspond to the county’s five districts to account for changes in population. As populations grow, shrink, or move around, districts must be redrawn so that each district contains approximately the same number of people. As the maps are redrawn attention focuses on the preservation of minority voting rights, contiguity, compactness and communities of interest.
“Redistricting happens once per decade so for most of us, there is much to learn. And due to the pandemic-delayed publication of census data, the public and stakeholders need to get up to speed quickly,” said Bernalillo County Commission Chair Charlene Pyskoty. “We’ve set up a page on Bernco.gov and will hear about initial plans at Tuesday’s commission meeting. We will hear public comment on redistricting then, and at every administrative meeting until we get it done.”
Population growth in Bernalillo County from 2010-2020 was 2.1 percent bringing the current population to 676,444. Thus, the ideal population size for each of the five districts is 135,289. Population change within the districts was minimal except for District 4 which grew by 9 percent. Districts 1, 2, 3 and 5 are within the allowable population deviation of 5 percent. District 4’s deviation is 8.55 percent so its boundaries will need to be adjusted.
For background information on redistricting in Bernalillo County, visit Bernco.gov/redistricting. The page contains the current maps for districts 1-5, links to submit written public comment, the phone number to call to make a public comment that will be transcribed verbatim, and a link to sign up to speak live during the public comment period of upcoming commission meetings. There is also a link to a background report on redistricting prepared for Bernalillo County by Research and Polling.
Redistricting will be on the top of the agenda for the Oct. 12 administrative meeting of the Board of County Commissioners which begins at 5 p.m. The meetings can be viewed live on Bernco.gov, GOV TV and YouTube. Citizens who will be speaking need to sign up online in advance and view the meeting on Zoom.