Fair Maps – Redistricting in 2022
Click here for a Fact Sheet on Redistricting in Missouri.
LWVMO President Marilyn McLeod said it was unfortunate that Missouri’s Senate Redistricting Commission deadlocked, moving the decision to a six-judge panel. “The current system could and should be improved before the next U.S. Census,” she said. “Redistricting should be done on a nonpartisan basis with the goal of fair maps that keep communities of interest together.”
Click here to see the Judicial Redistricting Commission’s map for the state’s 34 Senate districts. At a public hearing on Feb. 25. Fair Redistricting Committee Chair Sharon Schneeberger told the six judges, “If our democracy of representative government is to prevail, fair maps are not only important, but required.”
The Bipartisan House Redistricting Commission did reach a consensus. Click here for the new map for Missouri’s 163 House districts.
LWVMO’s Fair Redistricting Committee was very active in encouraging redistricting commission members and legislators to use a transparent process. League members presented testimony at more than a dozen public hearings, attended most commission meetings, and submitted non-partisan maps developed by the Institute for Computational Redistricting (ICOR).
The General Assembly finally approved a congressional district map on May 12 that will likely keep a 6-2 partisan split. The Senate map preserves Democratic U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver’s 5th Congressional District in Kansas City, but makes changes to the 2nd and 3rd Districts that Republicans wanted. The League is concerned that it splits 10 counties and the 3rd District is not compact.
The League had reached out to legislators with research showing that 46.5 percent of Missouri voters supported Democrats in 2016, 2018 and 2020 elections for Governor, U.S. Senate, and President. HB2117 now goes to the Senate.
“Fair redistricting is a high priority for the League, since the new maps will shape our lives for the next 10 years,” McLeod said. “It’s all about fairness. The League wants to see more competitive districts that reflect Missouri’s political landscape and give voters a greater voice in their government at all levels. The final maps will determine what district we live in, who represents us, and how they will allocate resources for our communities for the next 10 years.”
The Institute for Computational Redistricting (ICOR), a research group at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, prepared a report and sample maps for LWVMO. The report concludes that “compactness and good political fairness are achievable for Missouri” as the General Assembly drafts new maps for the state’s eight congressional districts. The League shared sample maps with legislators and members of the House and Senate Redistricting Commissions.
Joan Hubbard represented LWVMO at the Senate Redistricting Commission hearing in St. Louis last fall. She recognized the “once-a-decade impact that redistricting has on the power of voters and on the vitality of democracy in our state.” She said, “In all 50 states, the League stresses that honorable redistricting requires fairness, accuracy, transparency and maximum public participation and input.” Hubbard encouraged commissioners to keep communities of interest together. She said, “Maps should be drawn in a transparent way that allows ample time for experts to analyze, and testify and time for our committee members to respond.”
— Watch Marilyn McLeod explain the redistricting process in Missouri to Paul Pepper at https://youtu.be/z0958wB6NNA.
— Click on the image at left for a recording of “People Power Makes Us Strong.” Singer/songwriter Shanna Jones performs the anthem with lyrics written by Bill Clause.
— Click here for information from the Brennan Center for Justice on the Efficiency Gap that is used to determine the extent of political gerrymandering.
— Click here for information on communities of interest.
Click here for information on People Powered Fair Maps, the LWVUS national redistricting program. LWVMO’s Fair Redistricting Committee is headed by Sharon Schneeberger of Columbia. Direct questions to email@example.com.