Redistricting will break taboos. But which ones?

No matter how you slice it, the next state redistricting maps are going to thwart conventional wisdom.

By

Opinion

September 3, 2021 - 1:44 PM

Every ten years, districts for Congress, state legislature, state school board, and local offices must be redrawn based on the latest Census.  The 2020 Census numbers were recently released and we already know one thing:  there will no longer be a KC-area district that incorporates all of Johnson and Wyandotte Counties.

Here in Kansas, the Kansas City-area Third District has once again gained population, while the rural “Big First” has lost people.  The Third must shed people and the Big First must gain them, all shuffled through the Second District, which lies in between and has also lost population.  All districts to be of nearly equal population, with only 0.5% allowable variation.  Removing the small piece of Miami County (Louisburg) currently in the Third will not be enough.  All or part of the other two counties must be moved as well.  This will not be popular among supporters of Rep. Sharice Davids, who fear a Republican gerrymander to break up that district’s Democratic majority.  In fact, former Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle advocates this.

For this column, I drew a number of hypothetical districts using Dave’s Redistricting, an online app that makes it possible for anyone with a computer and some free time to draw their own districts.  It  is free, but users are encouraged to make voluntary contributions.  I have no financial interest in the project. The maps I made can be viewed on my blog:  moksline.blogspot.com and I also did this for Missouri. 

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