Active registered voter increase prompts voter precinct boundary changes
Information provided by Douglas County
A 14 percent increase in Douglas County’s registered voters has triggered the need to adjust voter precinct boundaries. The increase required, by state law, that precinct boundaries be redrawn prior to the 2018 Caucus, Primary and General Election. The precinct changes will be effective February 1, with precinct numbers updated for effected voters within a few days. Changes to precincts have no bearing on the district in which county residents vote.
“It is merely another evidence of the growth that Douglas County is seeing,” stated Douglas County Clerk and Recorder Merlin Klotz, who presented recommended changes for approval to the Board of County Commissioners at the public meeting December 19 in Castle Rock. Since Colorado is an all-mail ballot state, and even in-person voting is done at voter service and polling centers that are open to any county resident, voters will feel little impact from the changes.
By statute, precincts must be adjusted to have no more than 2,000 active voters. Precincts must not cross county commissioner lines, state House lines, state Senate lines or Congressional lines, and should also consider community and natural borders. “In a growing county, that can get interesting,” stated Klotz. “We actually sat down in May with county demographers, major party chairmen and county GIS [geographic information system], and prepared a tentative remap. We reviewed it immediately after the 2017 election and made a couple of small adjustments.”
The final adjustments to the county’s precinct boundaries resulted in an additional 13 precincts for a total of 168 precincts. Boundaries were last redrawn in 2015 creating 155 precincts, up from 145.
For citizens who attend party precinct caucuses, the changes might mean going to a different caucus room for the caucuses on March 6, with a slightly different group of neighbors. Party leaders will need precinct leaders for 168 precincts instead of 155 precincts, and district captains who have let precinct leader spots go vacant have spots to fill before caucus. The precinct changes present an opportunity for leaders to broaden party involvement and for more citizens to become engaged in the political process. To review the precinct changes, visit www.DouglasVotes.com.