TagRedistricting

New Hampshire enacts new state senate map

New Hampshire enacted new state senate districts on May 6, 2022, when Gov. Chris Sununu (R) signed a proposal that both legislative chambers approved into law. The maps will take effect for New Hampshire’s 2022 state legislative elections.

On February 16, the New Hampshire Senate passed a map in a 14-10 vote, which the House then approved on April 21 in a 172-149 vote. The Senate Redistricting Committee initially advanced the proposal on January 5, 2022.

As of May 6, 46 states have adopted legislative district maps for both chambers. Legislative boundaries in Kansas are awaiting approval by that state’s supreme court. A court in Ohio has overturned previously enacted maps, a court in New York has overturned a map for one chamber, and Montana has not yet adopted legislative redistricting plans after the 2020 census.

As of May 6, 2012, 46 states had enacted legislative redistricting plans after the 2010 census.

Nationwide, states have completed legislative redistricting for 1,827 of 1,972 state Senate seats (92.6%) and 5,214 of 5,411 state House seats (96.3%).

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Kansas District Court judge overturns that state’s new congressional district boundaries

Wyandotte County District Court Judge Bill Klapper struck down Kansas’ enacted congressional map on April 25 for violating the state constitution due to political and racial gerrymandering. Klapper’s ruling stated, “The Court has no difficulty finding, as a factual matter, that Ad Astra 2 is an intentional, effective pro-Republican gerrymander that systemically dilutes the votes of Democratic Kansans.” Klapper’s ruling also said that the state’s new district boundaries “intentionally and effectively dilutes minority votes in violation of the Kansas Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection.”

Klapper issued his decision in a case resulting from the consolidation of three lawsuits challenging Kansas’ congressional map from 20 Kansas voters and the organization Loud Light, which describes itself on its website as a group that “engages, educates, and empowers individuals from underrepresented populations to build community power that has an impact on decision makers.” Klapper heard oral arguments on the consolidated cases earlier this month.

The court’s ruling blocks Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab (R) and local election officials from using the previously enacted maps for the state’s upcoming elections and directs the legislature to “enact a remedial plan in conformity with this opinion as expeditiously as possible.” Andrew Bahl of the Topeka Capitol Journal wrote that Republican legislative leaders said they would ask Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt (R) to appeal Klapper’s ruling to the state supreme court.

The state Senate and state House enacted the overturned boundaries Feb. 9 when the chambers overrode Gov. Laura Kelly’s (D) veto. In both chambers, all votes to override the governor’s veto were from Republicans and all legislative Democrats that cast votes were to sustain Kelly’s veto. The state Senate originally approved the congressional district map proposal on Jan. 21 and the state House of Representatives approved it on Jan. 26. Kelly vetoed the congressional map on Feb. 3.

After the state legislature overrode Kelly’s veto, Bahl wrote that the “maps were hotly contested, largely for the decision to split Wyandotte County and put part of the Kansas City, Kan., area in the 2nd Congressional District, a move that endangers the state’s lone Democrat in Congress, U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, and, Democrats argue, unfairly divides minority communities.”

Klapper was originally appointed to a judgeship on the 29th Judicial District court in Wyandotte County by Gov. Sam Brownback (R) in 2013. He was elected without opposition in both the Democratic primary and general elections in both 2014 and 2018.

Kansas’ candidate filing deadline is June 1, and statewide, congressional, and local primaries are scheduled for Aug. 2.

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Florida enacts new congressional map

Florida enacted new congressional districts on April 22, 2022, when Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a proposal approved by the legislature into law. Florida was apportioned 28 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives after the 2020 census, one more than it received after the 2010 census. This map will take effect for Florida’s 2022 congressional elections.

On April 20, the Florida Senate passed a map in a 24-15 vote, which the House then approved on April 21 in a 68-34 vote. 

This was the second congressional map bill approved that the state legislature approved. DeSantis vetoed the first on March 29. Republican leaders in the legislature said on April 11 that they would wait to receive a map from DeSantis to support. DeSantis submitted a map to the legislature on April 13, which the legislature passed.

Florida Politics’s Jacob Ogles wrote of the enacted map, “The most controversial change DeSantis made in his map, this new CD 4 really stands in as the replacement to the Lawson seat. […] The Black population in Jacksonville gets cleaved in half by the St. Johns River after DeSantis vetoed a map drawn by the Florida House that created a Duval-only Black seat.” When DeSantis vetoed the initial map bill, he wrote in a memo, “Congressional District 5 [Lawson’s district] in both the primary and secondary maps enacted by the Legislature violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution because it assigns voters primarily on the basis of race but is not narrowly tailored to achieve a compelling state interest.”

State Rep. Tracie Davis (D) criticized the enacted map saying, “You hate when we use the word disenfranchisement. You turn your back. You look the other way. But you have to realize that is exactly what this is: Gutting, now-CD 4 … leaves us simply without representation. It simply means that the Black population in Florida that lives north of the I-4 corridor, their voices will be diluted. Their power in this process simply washed away.” 

Rep. Kaylee Tuck (R) supported the enacted map saying, “[DeSantis] publicly submitted maps, which is something that anybody can do. He’s allowed to do it. Every single member of the public was allowed to do it. And just because it’s different, doesn’t mean it’s bad. Just because it’s different, doesn’t mean it’s wrong. It’s just different. The process was thorough, it was transparent. It was open. It was complete. It was constitutional. And it was good.”

As of April 25, 40 states have adopted new congressional maps, one state’s maps have been overturned by court action, and three states have not yet adopted congressional redistricting plans after the 2020 census. Six states were apportioned one U.S. House district, so no congressional redistricting is required. As of April 25 in 2012, 42 states had enacted congressional redistricting plans.

States have completed congressional redistricting for 393 of the 435 seats (90.3%) in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Wyoming is only state so far to change number of state legislators after redistricting

Wyoming enacted new state legislative district boundaries on March 25 when Gov. Mark Gordon (R) allowed the maps to become law without signing them. The bill adds one Senate seat and two House of Representatives seats to the state legislature, meaning that after the 2022 elections, Wyoming will have 31 state Senators and 62 state Representatives. As of April 14, 44 states have completed legislative redistricting after the 2020 census, and Wyoming is the only one thus far to change its number of legislators. 

West Virginia adopted a redistricting plan changing that state’s House of Delegates from 67 to 100 districts but kept the number of legislators at 100. It will go from having 47 single-member and 20 multi-member districts to 100 single-member districts.

Nationwide, there are currently 1,971 state Senators and 5,411 state Representatives. After the 2022 elections, there will be 1,972 state Senators and 5,413 Representatives.

In Wyoming, the state House and Senate passed two separate redistricting proposals and a joint conference committee developed the final boundaries. The state Senate passed the new maps, 17-12, with all votes in favor by Republicans and 10 Republicans and two Democrats voting against. The state House approved the maps by a 44-12 vote. Thirty-seven Republicans, six Democrats, and one Libertarian voted in favor, and 11 Republicans and one independent voted against.

When the proposal to increase the number of legislators was discussed in Wyoming’s Joint Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Interim Committee, Sen. Tara Nethercott (R) said, “Historically, the Legislature has had even more legislators than this amount. This is not a new concept for us to consider, or particularly profound in that way. The purpose is to identify the greatest amount of concern that we heard and provide solutions, really maximizing solutions to concerns.”

According to the National Conference of State Legislators, Wyoming changed the number of members of its state legislature five times between 1964 and 1992. During that period, the state House of Representatives had between 56 and 64 members and the state Senate had between 25 and 30 members.

After the 2010 census, New York increased its number of state Senators from 62 to 63. 

After the 2000 census, New York increased the number of state Senators by one, to 62. Two states—North Dakota and Rhode Island—reduced the number of state legislators in both chambers.

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Mississippi enacts new legislative district boundaries

Mississippi enacted new state legislative district boundaries on March 31 when both legislative chambers approved district maps for the other chamber. Legislative redistricting in Mississippi does not require gubernatorial approval. The maps will take effect for the state’s next legislative elections, in 2023.

Redistricting of the state Senate was approved by the Senate 45-7 on March 29, and the state House approved the Senate’s district boundaries on March 31 by a vote of 68-49. New district boundaries for the Mississippi House of Representatives were approved by the House on March 29 by an 81-38 vote. The Mississippi Senate approved the House map—41 to 8—on March 31.

Emily Wagster Pettus of the Associated Press wrote that “Republican legislative leaders said the redistricting plans are likely to maintain their party’s majority in each chamber.” Pettus also wrote that “Senate President Pro Tempore Dean Kirby of Pearl said the Senate redistricting plan keeps the same number of Republican-leaning and Democratic-leaning districts as now.”

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, legislative redistricting has been completed 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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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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Maryland enacts revised congressional district boundaries

Maryland adopted new congressional district boundaries on April 4 when Gov. Larry Hogan (R) signed revised redistricting legislation that the General Assembly had finalized on March 30. Hogan signed the new map after state Attorney General Brian Frosh withdrew his appeal of Circuit Court Judge Lynne Battaglia’s March 25 ruling overturning the state’s previous congressional redistricting plan.

Maryland was apportioned eight seats in the U.S. House of Representatives after the 2020 census, the same number it received after the 2010 census. This map will take effect for Maryland’s 2022 congressional elections.

The state Senate approved the revised congressional district boundaries 30-13 with all votes in favor by Democrats and all votes opposed by Republicans on March 29. The House of Delegates approved the revised map on March 30 by a vote of 94-41 with votes in favor by Democrats and 40 Republicans and one Democrat voting “no.”

After Gov. Hogan signed the maps, Greg Giroux at Bloomberg Government wrote, “The new map will continue to favor Democrats in seven of eight districts while restoring a strongly Republican district for Rep. Andy Harris (R)….The new map replaces a more aggressive Democratic proposal that the legislature enacted in December over Hogan’s veto. That map created seven safe Democratic districts and converted Harris’ eastern 1st District into a swing district, raising the possibility Democrats could win all eight districts. Democrats won seven of eight districts in the past decade of House elections.”

After signing the revised map, Gov. Hogan said, “When these maps came out in December, I said they were unconstitutional and violated the law. The courts agreed, described it as extreme partisan gerrymandering, and a clear violation of the Constitution, ordered the legislature to go back and draw new maps, which they did. Now they weren’t, in my opinion, as good as the ones drawn by the citizen commission, and we shouldn’t have wasted so much time—but they are a huge improvement.” After Gov. Hogan announced he would sign the revised district boundaries, Frosh released a statement which said, in part, “We are pleased Governor Hogan has agreed to sign the proposed congressional redistricting map approved by the General Assembly. This map, like the one previously passed by the General Assembly, is constitutional and fair. Both sides have agreed to dismiss their appeals, and our state can move forward to the primary election.”

As of April 5, 39 states have adopted congressional district maps. Four states have not yet adopted congressional redistricting plans after the 2020 census, and New York’s maps were overturned by court action. Six states were apportioned one U.S. House district, so no congressional redistricting is required.

Congressional redistricting has been completed for 365 of the 435 seats (83.9%) in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Missouri’s 2022 legislative elections will be the first using new district maps

Missouri completed its legislative redistricting on March 15, setting in place district maps that will be in effect for the Nov. 8 elections. Missouri was the 43rd state to complete legislative redistricting. The state’s Judicial Redistricting Commission (JRC) filed the new state Senate district boundaries with the secretary of state, while the House Independent Bipartisan Citizens Commission unanimously approved the state House’s district boundaries in early January.

The JRC completed the senate redistricting process after the Senate Independent Bipartisan Citizens Commission failed to submit proposed maps to the secretary of state’s office by the Dec. 23, 2021, deadline. Missouri Appeals Court Justice Cynthia Lynette Martin chaired the JRC.

Redistricting is the process of drawing new congressional and state legislative district boundaries that happens every decade following the release of U.S. census figures. Criteria for drawing legislative maps may vary from state to state, but most states impose requirements such as contiguity, compactness, consideration of communities of interest, or respect for political boundaries.

In the U.S., there are 7,383 state legislative seats and 435 congressional districts. New legislative district maps have been drawn for 1,709 of 1,972 state Senate seats (86.7%) and 4,504 of 5,411 state House seats (83.2%). New congressional district maps have been drawn for 365 of the 435 seats (83.9%) in the U.S. House of Representatives. Missouri has not completed congressional redistricting as of April 5, 2022. 

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Louisiana enacts new congressional district boundaries after legislature overrides governor’s veto

Louisiana enacted new congressional district boundaries on March 30 when the state legislature overrode Gov. John Bel Edwards’ (D) veto of legislation establishing the new districts. Louisiana was apportioned six seats in the U.S. House of Representatives after the 2020 census, the same number it received after the 2010 census. This map will take effect for Louisiana’s 2022 congressional elections.

The state Senate voted to override 27-11 with all ‘yes’ votes from Republicans and all ‘no’ votes from Democrats. The state House of Representatives overrode Edwards’ veto 72-32 with 68 Republicans, three independents, and one Democrat voting in favor and all votes against by Democrats. Governor Edwards had vetoed the congressional district map on March 9 that the legislature had passed on Feb. 18, saying in a statement, “it does not include a second majority African American district, despite Black voters making up almost a third of Louisianans per the latest U.S. Census data.”

Louisiana is the fourth state this cycle—along with Kansas, Kentucky, and Maryland—where the legislature overrode the governor’s veto of redistricting legislation. All four states have divided government, where one party holds the governor’s office and the other controls both chambers of the state legislature.

Tyler Bridges, Sam Karlin, and Blake Paterson wrote in The Advocate that the approved map means “that Louisiana this fall will have five congressional districts favored to elect Republicans, while Democrats will have one – unless federal courts rule that the new map violates the 1965 Voting Rights Act and mandate new boundaries.”

After the legislature’s override vote, House Speaker Clay Schexnayder (R) issued a statement that said, in part, “Today, the overwhelming will of the Legislature was heard. House Bill 1 fulfills our constitutionally mandated duty to redistrict Congress. It also shows true legislative independence and a clear separation of power from the executive branch.”

In remarks made after the legislature overrode his veto, Gov. Edwards said, “I can’t imagine there is a more compelling case for the courts to look at and to overturn than in Louisiana. It’s not even close. I happen to believe it’s a very clear case of violating the Voting Rights Act.”

As of March 31, 39 states have adopted congressional district maps. One state’s map has been overturned by court action and four states have not yet adopted congressional redistricting plans after the 2020 census. Six states were apportioned one U.S. House district, so no congressional redistricting is required.

States have completed congressional redistricting for 383 of the 435 seats (88.0%) in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Michigan’s congressional, legislative redistricting plans officially become law

Michigan’s new congressional and legislative district boundaries became law on March 26, 60 days after the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) published its report on the redistricting plans with the secretary of state. The MICRC had approved the state’s congressional map on Dec. 28, 2021, by a vote of 8-5. The vote approving the plan was supported by two Democrats, two Republicans, and four nonpartisan members, with the five remaining commissioners (two Democrats, two Republicans, and one nonpartisan member) in favor of other plans. As required, the adopted map was approved by “at least two commissioners who affiliate with each major party, and at least two commissioners who do not affiliate with either major party.”

Writing about the state’s congressional map, Clara Hendrickson and Todd Spangler of the Detroit Free Press said, “According to three measures of partisan fairness based on statewide election data from the past decade, the map favors Republicans. But those measures also show a significant reduction in the Republican bias compared to the map drawn a decade ago by a Republican legislature, deemed one of the most politically biased maps in the country. One of the partisan fairness measures used by the commission indicates Democratic candidates would have an advantage under the new map.”

The MICRC also approved new legislative district boundaries on Dec. 28, 2021. The vote on the state Senate map was 9-4 with two Democrats, two Republicans, and all five nonpartisan members supporting the proposal. The commission adopted a proposal for state House of Representatives districts by a vote of 11-2 with four Democrats, two Republicans, and all five nonpartisan members supporting it.

The MICRC was established after voters approved a 2018 voter-approved constitutional amendment that transferred the power to draw the state’s congressional and legislative districts from the state legislature to an independent redistricting commission.

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