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New Mexico Needs an Independent Redistricting Commission

Read the January 22, 2024 Op-ed in the ABQ Journal: OPINION: NM needs an independent redistricting commission with teeth.

SJR7 Independent Redistricting Commission Resolution 

A Senate Joint Resolution on Independent Redistricting Commission has been filed. Senator Jaramillo and Representative Figueroa have filed a Senate Joint Resolution calling for an independent redistricting commission. See the resolution here: SJR7.

If passed by both chambers, the question of creation of an independent redistricting commission will go on the 2024 general election ballot. The Governor does not need to sign it. Ask your legislator to support the joint resolution. See a summary of the joint resolution here (DOCX).

Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission endorses the Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) to create an Independent Redistricting Commission. On January 5 the Commission voted unanimously to endorse the SJR. Read the resolution here.

More Resources

Find More New Mexico Redistricting Resources at RedistrictNM.org.

Talking Points for contacting Senate Rules Committee Members

Download PDF talkingpointsIRC-C.pdf or Word talkingpointsIRC-C.docx.

Comparison of the 2023 and 2024 Legislation

Download Word file: comparison23and24.docx

Documents Supporting an Independent Redistricting Commission:

New Mexico Senate and House redistricting has been about incumbency protection. Check out this video to see how you can help change that.

New Mexico Open Elections Webinar on Redistricting

Learn about the state of and future possibilities for redistricting here in New Mexico. This session was led by NMOE Board Member and Fair Districts New Mexico Project Coordinator, Kathleen Burke, and joined by Representative Natalie Figueroa, Professor and Journalist Gwyneth Doland, and Redistricting Advocate Mary Henrie Smith.

Listen: Elena Kagan Reads Her Dissent in the Gerrymandering Case

The NM Supreme Court cited the 3 criteria stated for determining partisan gerrymandering set out in  Justice Kagan's dissent in Rucho v Common Cause.

Hear her read her dissent here: This is why Fair Districts works on reform.

LWVNM Presents "Making Democracy Work" award to Representative Figueroa

Hannah Burling of LWVNM presents Rep. Natalie Figueroa with an award July 12: The League of Women Voters of New Mexico presented NM Representative Natalie Figueroa (D. Albuquerque) with the 2023 "Making Democracy Work" award.

Representative Figueroa has expressed an exemplary willingness to lead beyond the partisan divide to pass important legislation. In 2021 Representative Figueroa, a Democrat, worked with fellow legislators, including Republicans, to pass the Redistricting Act which created the Citizens Redistricting Committee. In the 2023 session she co-sponsored House Joint Resolution 1 (HJR1) with Republican Representative Jason Harper (House District 57, Rio Rancho) which would have placed the question of creation of an independent redistricting commission on the 2024 ballot.

Representative Figueroa has also worked with Senator Michael Padilla to pass legislation that expands access to broadband throughout New Mexico. Access to broadband enables more New Mexicans to fully participate in the political process

Read the full story here (PDF).

NM Supreme Court's redistricting decision provides a victory for fair democracy

State's highest court holds that Republican claims can proceed under legal standard proposed by U.S. Supreme Court's liberal justices.

Read the full media release.

Two articles discussing the decision: NM Supreme Court rejects Democrats' argument in redistricting case (July 5 2023 Albuquerque Journal); N.M. Supreme Court gives hope to GOP in redistricting suit (July 5 Santa Fe New Mexican).

House Judiciary Committee kills bill to reform N.M.’s approach to redistricting

HJR1, a bill to put the question of creation of an Independent Redistricting Commission in New Mexico on the 2024 ballot died Monday in the New Mexico House Judiciary Committee on a 10-1 vote. Multiple lawmakers voiced their viewpoint that the legislature should retain authority to draw its own district lines. Advocates for the bill offered extensive testimony, arguing for the bill’s passage and presenting survey data that 77% of likely N.M. voters want an independent redistricting commission and that the Legislature should let voters decide.

Representatives Natalie Figueroa (D-ABQ) and Jason Harper (R-Rio Rancho) presented a compelling case for an independent redistricting commission. They were joined in their presentation by Robert Rhatigan, a member of the 2021 advisory Citizen Redistricting Committee and Heather Balas, Vice President of the Election Reformers Network.

“We are very disappointed,” said Dick Mason of Fair Districts for New Mexico, “What we saw yesterday in the House Judiciary Committee was bipartisanship, but NOT the kind advocates of democracy seek.

Read the full statement: House Judiciary Committee kills bill to reform N.M.’s approach to redistricting.

ABQ Journal: Judicial leaders call for a independent redistricting commission

Judicial leaders call for a independent redistricting commission.

Albuquerque Journal Editorial

Editorial: HJR 1 could finally end gerrymandering and buddymandering in NM.

Support HJR1

HJR1 passes House Elections and Indian Affairs Committee by a 5-2 bipartisan vote. Now on to House Judiciary. Please contact members and ask them to give HJR1 a "do pass": House Judiciary.

Progressive Democrats join others to support HJR1 - Independent Redistricting Commision.

Oped in the Santa Fe New Mexican.

Panelists Introduce Redistricting Joint Resolution in Public Meeting 12/14

Watch the meeting video.

Rep. Figueroa files a House Joint Resolution for an Independent Redistricting Commission

Representative Natalie Figueroa will file a House Joint Resolution that, if passed by the legislature, would put the question of an independent redistricting commission on the 2024 ballot. What does it do? Read the analysis: HJR for an Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC): What would it do?.

Where NM House members stand on redistricting reform

NM HOUSE AFTER THE 2022 GENERAL ELECTION – Official Results 12/15/22 (docx)

Documents for advocates in support of the House Joint Resolution

New Mexican: Independence is key for redistricting

A Nov 19, 2022 editorial in the Santa Fe New Mexican discussing Dr. Gabe Sanchez's study, and the importance of an independent redistricting commission: Independence is key for redistricting.

Watch: Dr. Gabe Sanchez discusses 2021 New Mexico Redistricting

Dr. Gabe Sanchez discusses the 2021 New Mexico Redistricting Evaluation on NM InFocus.

Have something to say about the findings? Contact your legislators today!

Watch: 10/4/22 Redistricting Evaluation Release Public Meeting

10.4.22 Redistricting Evaluation Release Public Meeting from New Mexico First on Vimeo.

In this public meeting, researchers Dr. Gabe Sanchez and Dr. David Cottrell share findings contained in the NM Redistricting Evaluation Report released in September, 2022.

The report can be accessed below.

Have something to say about the findings? Contact your legislators today!

New Mexico Redistricting Evaluation Report

New Mexico Redistricting Evaluation Report cover

See the full New Mexico Redistricting Evaluation here (9.7Mb)
See the New Mexico Redistricting Evaluation Executive Summary here
See the detailed Press Release for the Evaluation here

Have something to say about the findings? Contact your legislators today!

Redistricting Surveys Sent

Fair Districts has sent a survey to each NM House candidate, NM statewide candidate, and incumbent NM State Senator for their input on redistricting. Please encourage your elected officials and the candidates to complete their survey today. They will find it in their inbox or may contact us at faidistricts@lwvnm.org for a link. Thank you for your advocacy!

Secretary of State’s list of candidates.

Past Survey of 2022 Primary Candidates for New Mexico House - Responses of winners.

The Political Parties' Platforms on Redistricting Reform

Fair Districts for New Mexico is nonpartisan, but we remind New Mexico Democratic policymakers and candidates that their Democratic Party of New Mexico State Platform 2022 plank on redistricting states: “We will advocate for a constitutional amendment to end gerrymandering by creating and giving authority to an independent non-partisan redistricting commission that includes diverse membership, specifically including Native American representation and participation. This commission shall be separate from the legislative process to prevent the drawing of political boundaries favoring one party over another or favoring incumbents.”

Green Party National Platform: Nonpartisan redistricting: Establish independent and transparent non-partisan redistricting processes to stop partisan gerrymandering and protect minority rights and representation.

Libertarian Party National Platform on Representative Government:We oppose laws that effectively exclude alternative candidates and parties, deny ballot access, gerrymander districts, or deny the voters their right to consider all alternatives.

To our knowledge the Republican Party does not have a platform plank on redistricting.

Update to Fair Districts NM (FDNM) Partners - June 7, 2022

Things are still progressing on our end!

Here are some things happening:

1. The New Mexico First Redistricting Task Force has reconvened and will be making their recommendations by late June.

2. Dr Gabe Sanchez of the UNM Center for Social Policy is doing an evaluation of the 2021 redistricting process in New Mexico. We expect to have the results soon.

3. FDNM has contracted to have a short animated film made to illustrate the need for an independent redistricting commission.

4. The interim Courts, Corrections & Justice Legislative Committee has redistricting on the agenda for the fall. Senate Rules, the only standing committee authorized to meet in the interim, expects to hear voting and election bills, including redistricting.

5. We will be conducting a redistricting survey of the House primary winners. We will also be surveying state senators and candidates for statewide offices.

6. We have two new FDNM partners: Veterans and Military Families Caucus DPNM and America Votes of NM

7. Representative Natalie Figueroa plans to file an updated version of HJR9 – Independent Redistricting Commission.

8. We had two calls with activists in Colorado about their experience passing a constitutional amendment to create an independent redistricting commission and how that commission performed.

If you meet with any candidates or state senators, please ask them to commit to supporting a constitutional amendment that will create an independent redistricting commission.

Watch for a FDNM meeting via Zoom in late June, please.

Thank you all for your helping get this far and your commitment to a constitutional amendment to create an independent redistricting commission.

Want to know your new districts?

The Secretary of State has maps for the new Congressional districts. The sidebar on the left has links to the New Mexico Senate, House and Public Education districts.

The League of Women Voters of New Mexico also has updated NM District Maps.

Building Towards a Truly Independent Redistricting Commission

On February 9, 2022, HJR9 Constitutional Amendment for an Independent Redistricting Commission passed House Government, Elections and Indian Affairs committee on a 5-4 vote. We want to thank Chairwoman Georgene Louis, Representatives Daymon Ely, Doreen Gallegos, Wonda Johnson and Kristina Ortez for voting in support of fair and transparent redistricting.

Given the lateness in the session and the heavy load of legislation remaining we did not expect HJR9 to receive its next hearing which would have been House Judiciary. Our goals in this session were to get HJR9 passed in at least one committee and to get a read on what legislators liked and did not like in the resolution. With your help we accomplished those goals.

We want to thank our dedicated sponsor Representative Natalie Figueroa for working so diligently to get the bill drafted and introduced with Representative Ely’s help, and for her skillful presentations to the committee. The Representative has let us know she is with us going into the 2023 session.

Judge Roderick Kennedy, Jeremy Farris of the New Mexico State Ethics Commission and Heather Balas of the Election Reformers Network provided expert testimony at the committee hearings. I want to express the LWVNM’s deepest gratitude to Justice Edward Chavez who helped bring us here with his dedication to the New Mexico First Redistricting Task Force and the Citizen Redistricting Committee. He also helped draft the original language of HJR9.

Fair Districts for New Mexico will be working with New Mexico First as they reconvene the Redistricting Task Force that was key in developing the principles that resulted in the passage of the 2021 Redistricting Act.

2022 HJR9 Independent Redistricting Commission

What it does: read our summary of HJR9 Committee substitute.
Link to the bill: HJR9 — Independent Redistricting CA Committee substitute

Moving toward a redistricting constitutional amendment

FDNM Public Meeting 1/4/2022, "The Constitutional Amendment for an Independent Redistricting Commission in New Mexico": Zoom recording (use passcode YjrB2e@E).

Resources for Research:

New Mexico 2021 Special Session on Redistricting

Fair Districts For New Mexico (FDNM) Summary of the Redistricting Session.

New Mexico In Depth Article on Redistricting

Pueblo map seeks to spread power, but Republicans fear loss of New Mexico House seat.

Citizen Redistricting Committee Documents & Resources

Citizen Redistricting Committee Final Report

Citizen Redistricting Committee Adopted District Maps

Advocates laud state's new approach to decennial redistricting processing, By Robert Nott

Article in the Santa Fe New Mexican: First glimpse of proposed New Mexico redistricting maps shows many options

Casey Douma Redistricting Presentation

All Pueblo Council of Governors Redistricting Presentation, 8/14/21

Casey Douma of Laguna Pueblo, co-chair of the All Pueblo Council of Governors' redistricting committee addressed the Citizen Redistricting Committee on August 14 at the Albuquerque Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. We share Mr. Douma's informative presentation here.

Watch the Princeton Gerrymandering Project Training Sessions

The Princeton Gerrymandering Project is providing 5 trainings on redistricting for the Citizen Redistricting Committee; As they are completed they will be posted on the Princeton website. Watch them there: New Mexico Redistricting Trainings.

Redistricting Webinar: People Powered Fair Maps

April 29, 2021:
In a webinar on redistricting, Justice Chavez gave a brief summary of the Citizen Redistricting Committee created by SB304. Peter Wattson discussed other states with similar redistricting models, and gave advice on what we can do to prepare even before the CRC starts.

Watch the video.

Documents for the webinar:

New Mexico First’s 2021 Redistricting Task Force

Redistricting Rock Stars Video

Recording of the Webinar Redistricting Rock Stars, Tuesday, January 12, 6:30pm.

See FDNM with Redistricting Task Force Chairmen former NM Supreme Court Justice Edward Chavez and former NM Appeals Court Judge Roderick Kennedy as we discuss how the Chairmen foresee the Task Force's findings affecting redistricting reform at the legislative session. We also discuss the Redistricting Act, the Senate bill for redistricting reform. Hosted by the League of Women Voters New Mexico President, Hannah Burling.

Report of the New Mexico First Redistricting Task Force

Read the Task Force's report here: Redistricting Taskforce in New Mexico.

Redistricting Educational Resources

Video: Two NM Senators Speak on Redistricting

Video: Two NM Senators speak on Redistricting

Video: Redistricting in New Mexico: A Troubled History & Opportunities for Change

Writer and reporter Gwyneth Doland, of New Mexico In Depth, speaks about the historical aspects of redistricting in New Mexico, how they impact redistricting today, and what we might expect in redistricting 2021. Doland is the author of Redistricting NM 2021; A troubled history and opportunities for change.

View the video of our webinar on Redistricting in New Mexico.

Research & Polling presentation to New Mexico Legislative Council

Research & Polling presentation to New Mexico Legislative Council (PDF, 1.5M) from January 19, 2021.

2020 New Mexico Redistricting Survey

Results of a poll on public views on redistricting reform by UNM Center for Social Policy. In some cases the presentation compares the public views with those who applied to be on the Redistricting Task Force:
2020 New Mexico Redistricting Survey.

Resources for Action

Downloadable Articles and Info.

Themes for Op/Eds and Letters to the Editor.

You can get legislator contact information from the New Mexico League of Women Voters.

Redistricting glossary.


Contact Information

Kathleen Burke; fairdistricts (at) lwvnm (dot) org; 505-907-5355
Dick Mason: act (at) lwvnm (dot) org;505-239-3804