MT's Independent Redistricting Panel Dampens Partisan Conflict
Thursday, October 7, 2021
HELENA, Mont. -- Montana's redistricting commission has released proposed maps for Montana's two new congressional seats, and the commission's independent nature could foster cooperation across party lines during the process.
The Districting and Apportionment Commission is made up of two members chosen by Republican leaders, two by Democratic leaders and a chair chosen by the Montana Supreme Court. In most states, the Legislature takes on the task of redrawing voting districts.
Zuri Moreno, communication strategist for Fair Maps Montana, said it often means partisan politics overshadow the process.
"This independent commission is offering us this rare sight at a decision-making body that's prioritizing collaboration and data and Montana communities over single-party politics," Moreno asserted. "And I think that it's the single-party politics that we would see if partisan entities were in charge of making these decisions."
Redistricting has added significance this year because Montana is gaining a second congressional seat. The state has had just one since 1993. The commission advanced nine proposed plans for the shape of the districts, for which the public can submit comments. The commission's final congressional map hearing is on Oct. 19.
Moreno underscored how important the process of drawing voting maps is for ensuring people's votes count.
"Maps that are fair and competitive make sure that candidates are competing for our vote," Moreno contended. "And we get to decide, instead of having a map that decides for us."
The commission could propose a final map by the end of the month. Elections for Montana's two U.S. House seats will be in 2022. Montana is among seven states with commissions designed for partisan balance, and give commissioners the final word for approving districts.
get more stories like this via email
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nearly seven in ten Americans say billionaires are not paying their fair share in taxes, according to a new survey. Among likely …
BISMARCK, N.D. -- Over the coming weeks, North Dakotans will be clicking the "purchase" button as they order holiday gifts online, and fraud experts …
MINNEAPOLIS -- Several regional labor groups rallied in Minneapolis on Wednesday, demanding state leaders take action to reflect the sacrifices made …
GREENE, Iowa -- The proposed Build Back Better bill is getting attention for a host of funding possibilities, including one area flying under the …
OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- Michiganders are mourning the loss of four students after this week's school shooting at Oxford High School, and advocates …
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- Labor protests and strikes are on the upswing this fall, compared with 2020 when everyone hunkered as the pandemic closed …
CONCORD, N.H. -- With the holiday shopping season under way, experts are urging Granite Staters to watch out for scammers. A survey from AARP found …
EVERETT, Wash. -- After community pushback, Everett Community College has paused plans to close its Early Learning Center, which has provided child-…