It’s not yet clear how election re-districting based on the 2020 census will affect Corrales and its representation in the N.M. Legislature. A process is underway, led by retired N.M. Supreme Court Justice Edward Chavez, which has solicited citizens’ suggestions for how district lines should be drawn. As of mid-September, the Citizens Redistricting Committee had approved seven options for consideration, although more could be added. The district maps proposed can be found at http://www.nmredistricting.org.
Almost certainly the growth of Rio Rancho’s population during the past decade will result in another seat in the legislature for that community. But the re-districting to accommodate that could easily affect Corrales’ representation. Right now, Corrales has two representatives in the N.M. House: Republican Jane Powdrell-Culbert in District 44 and Democrat Daymon Ely in District 23.
Voter district maps will be re-drawn for congressional and gubernatorial elections as well.
“This is an important part of our democracy,” according to Judge Chavez. “We want the public to be active in the process.”
A selection is expected October 15, and then that choice will be forwarded to state legislature which is tentatively planning a special session for it in December.
Key factors in creating voter districts include keeping roughly the same number of voters in each, not diluting the voting strength of minorities and grouping citizens with similar interests together so that their expressions of interest are not fragmented.
The latter might mean, for example, that the agricultural heritage of both the North Valley and Corrales might be grouped into a single district rather than be split. It could also mean the North Valley and the South Valley could be grouped, and Corrales could be grouped with other communities west of the river, such as Paradise Hills and Taylor Ranch.
Representative Daymon Ely told Corrales Comment September 14 that the coming re-districting will not affect his own electoral prospects because he will not seek re-election. “As far as my plans, I am really done. I have really enjoyed my time in politics, and, weirdly, I am leaving more idealistic than when I went in. But honestly, it’s time for new blood!”
Ely said the legislature’s re-districting session is likely to start December 6 and last up to two weeks.