Vermont enacts new state legislative districts

Vermont enacted new state legislative districts on April 6 when Gov. Phil Scott (R) signed H722, the redistricting proposal approved by both legislative chambers, into law. The maps will take effect for Vermont’s 2022 state legislative elections.

On Oct. 15, 2021, the Vermont Legislative Apportionment Board voted 4-3 to approve a single-member district House map proposal. The board sent this proposal and another with a mix of single- and multi-member districts to the legislature on Nov. 30. After rejecting the single-member district proposal, the Vermont House of Representatives voted 129-13 to advance the multi-member district proposal on March 16. On March 25, the Vermont State Senate unanimously approved the new districts.

State Rep. Sarah Copeland Hanzas (D) said the redistricting process was “really one of a tremendous time crunch,” but “everybody supported the bill because they supported the process and the fairness and inclusion of the process.” State Sen. Jeanette White (D) said, “Some people are happy and some people are not happy. I think we did the right thing.”

Gov. Scott did not address the bill upon signing it, but spokesman Jason Maulucci said, “We see the consequences of the our [sic] demographic challenges in numerous ways, and the further redistribution of representation from rural areas to more economically well-off parts of the state are another example.” State Republican Party Chairman Paul Dame (R) said, “The mix of single- and double-member districts is problematic because, fundamentally, some Vermonters get twice as many votes as other Vermonters.”

As of April 7, 43 states have adopted legislative district maps for both chambers and one state has adopted maps for one legislative chamber. Courts in three states have overturned previously enacted maps, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked Wisconsin’s enacted maps, and two states have not yet adopted legislative redistricting plans after the 2020 census. As of April 7, 2012, 44 states had enacted legislative redistricting plans after the 2010 census.

Nationwide, states have completed legislative redistricting for 1,758 of 1,972 state Senate seats (89.1%) and 4,776 of 5,411 state House seats (88.3%).

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