Missouri completes state legislative redistricting

Missouri completed its legislative redistricting on March 15 when the state’s Judicial Redistricting Commission filed new state Senate district boundaries with the secretary of state. Missouri was the 43rd state to complete legislative redistricting. The House Independent Bipartisan Citizens Commission unanimously approved state House’s district boundaries on Jan. 21. These maps take effect for Missouri’s 2022 legislative elections.

The Senate Independent Bipartisan Citizens Commission failed to submit proposed maps to the secretary of state’s office by the Dec. 23, 2021, deadline, thus passing responsibility for developing Senate district boundaries to the Missouri Judicial Commission for Redistricting. The judicial commission’s chair, Missouri Appeals Court Justice Cynthia Lynette Martin, said in a press release, “The Judicial Redistricting Commission’s work has been thorough and labor intensive, and was purposefully undertaken with the goal to file a constitutionally compliant plan and map well in advance of the commission’s constitutional deadline to avoid disenfranchising voters given the candidate filing deadline and the deadline for preparing ballots.”

The Missouri Supreme Court established the special redistricting panel of six state appeals court justices on Jan. 11 to assume responsibility for redistricting if either the House or Senate independent bipartisan citizens commissions were unable to agree on legislative district boundaries.

The House Independent Bipartisan Citizens Commission unanimously approved new state House district boundaries on Jan. 19. Fourteen of the commission’s 20 members were required to approve the plan. In a press release issued after the map was finalized, commission chair Jerry Hunter said, “I want to personally thank all of the commissioners for the hard work that was put in by the commissioners and, obviously, as all of you know, the supporting individuals that have been instrumental to helping get this map done on both sides – on both the Democratic and Republican sides.”

As of March 22, 2022, 42 states have adopted legislative district maps for both chambers, and one state has adopted maps that have not yet gone into effect. The state supreme court in one state has overturned previously enacted maps, and six states have not yet adopted legislative redistricting plans after the 2020 census.

Nationwide, legislative redistricting has been completed for 1,775 of 1,972 state Senate seats (90.0%) and 4,293 of 5,411 state House seats (79.3%).

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