Despite making up fully one-third of the county's population, Black and brown voters don't get a fair shake in the election of El Paso County's commissioners. Black, Indigenous, and residents of color are a minority in every one of the county's five commissioner districts. This is because the current district map divides the minority population into different districts, especially in southeast Colorado Springs. As a result, Black and brown voters are structurally deprived of an equal opportunity to elect candidates who will represent their interests in county affairs, which range from enforcing the law and administering elections — to assessing the value of property and carrying out public health programs.
This structural racial disadvantage in El Paso County must end. On July 31, the ACLU of Colorado and our partner organizations submitted this joint letter to the county, urging it to remedy minority vote dilution in its ongoing redistricting process by adopting new districts that don't unfairly divide Black and brown voters. Drawing fair districts is critical and is legally required under the federal Voting Rights Act, which the Supreme Court confirmed this summer prohibits minority vote dilution. Black and brown voters deserve an equal opportunity to have their voices heard and their votes counted.