Latinos in Colorado are being treated unfairly, according to advocacy groups.
According to the Associated Press, civil rights organizations claim that Colorado’s freshly created congressional map disadvantages Latino citizens who are dispersed among the state’s districts. On Friday, the Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy, and Research Organization and the League of United Latin American Citizens filed a lawsuit to stop the new map from weakening the Latino vote in the state.
According to the documents, the committee that designed the plan followed a practice in Colorado of dividing areas with high Hispanic populations into distinct districts. They claim that, despite making up 21% of the state’s population, Latinos are distributed among numerous voting districts where they are outnumbered by white voters who are less likely to vote for their favorite candidates.
According to the Associated Press, the civil rights organizations demanded that the map commission construct district lines in such a way that Latino voters be kept together. They proposed splitting Colorado Springs and merging the city’s southern end, which has a large Latino population, with a southern Colorado district that includes Pueblo and the San Luis Valley.
The commission, on the other hand, was opposed to the concept, citing the necessity to preserve “communities of interest,” or neighborhoods with shared needs.
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“The Commission treated Colorado’s significant and growing Latino voter population as just another community of interest, no more important than those involved in skiing, living along a highway corridor, or working in the aviation industry,” LULAC argued in its filing, which was written by the Campaign Legal Center.
The commission said the court that the maps were compliant with the federal Voting Rights Act and did not discriminate against any voter based on ethnicity or language when it submitted them. The filings were not responded to by the commission on Friday.
Outside parties had until Friday to file a challenge to the maps that were filed to the state’s high court last week. If the maps are found to be in violation of the state constitution, the court can order the commission to redo them. That decision must be made by November 1st.
This is the first time Colorado has employed independent redistricting commissions, which are made up of 12 members evenly split between Democrats and Republicans. This is a condensed version of the information.