Website allows public to draw, propose NM district maps - Albuquerque Journal

Website allows public to draw, propose NM district maps

The Roundhouse last year. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

SANTA FE — The state’s new Citizen Redistricting Committee has launched a web portal that allows people to draw their own maps and submit written testimony.

The new site — nmredistricting.org — includes links to video training on how to use the map-making feature, but people can also jump right in and draw their own maps.

The program allows users to click on precincts or entire counties in New Mexico to paint the territory of proposed districts.

It keeps track of the population in each district as you draw and also notes the ideal population, demonstrating how difficult it can be to keep the districts roughly equal.

The map has settings for New Mexico’s three-district congressional delegation, the 70-member state House and 42-person state Senate.

Users can also submit written comments on communities of interest and other topics.

The broader redistricting website also outlines the redistricting committee’s schedule of meetings — the next of which is online at 9 a.m. Friday next week.

The first in-person meeting is set for 3 p.m. Aug. 2 at the Capitol in Santa Fe.

A host of community advocacy groups, meanwhile, have launched their own campaign to educate people about the importance of redistricting.

In a news conference, some members of the “People’s Power, People’s Maps” campaign said they believe the work is especially vital given that no one from a Native American community was appointed to the redistricting committee.

“All we’re asking for is a fair process and fair maps,” said Ahtza Dawn Chavez, a member of the Navajo Nation and executive director of the NAVA Education Project, which focuses on Native American voters.

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