Inside Augusta

Redistricting commission in agreement on three of four new district maps, final meeting upcoming

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Maine’s Apportionment Commission voted to approve new district maps for Maine’s House of Representatives and congressional districts during its September 24 meeting. The commission previously approved maps for new county commissioner districts and will meet again on September 27 to discuss district maps for the state Senate.

The House map approved by the commission differed from the unified plan originally proposed by the Democratic and Republican caucuses.

Dave Emery, a liaison between the Republican caucus and commission, noted that the final House map moved several blocks into Westbrook, which resulted in the Democratic incumbent returning to what will become District 127. In a move Emery described as “quid pro quo,” the two partisan caucuses also agreed to divide Buxton, which will separate the districts of two incumbents.The changes were reviewed and agreed to by both sides. Members of the commission present at the September 24 meeting voted unanimously to approve the maps.

The most recently approved House map includes several changes from the maps drawn from the 2010 Census data, including the renumbering of districts. With the new maps, district numbering will begin at the northern end of the state. The current maps begin district numbering at the southern end of the state.

The House of Representatives district map from 2010:

The original unified proposal for House of Representatives districts put forward by the commission:

The final House of Representatives district map approved by the commission:

During its September 24 meeting, the commission also approved a new map of federal congressional districts. The Republican and Democratic caucuses originally put forward two separate maps. Both party maps moved Augusta into the Second Congressional District (CD2). The Democratic caucus map also moved Waterville into CD2.

The final map approved by the caucus moved Augusta into CD2 but left Waterville in First Congressional District.

The Congressional District map from 2010:

The final Congressional District map approved by the commission:

On September 20, the commission approved new districts for Maine’s county commissioners. The unified proposal put forward by both partisan caucuses was formed with the input of several of the counties. 

The commission still has not voted on a plan for new state Senate districts. During the September 24 commission meeting, Sen. Troy Jackson (D-Aroostook) stated members of the commission had been working until 8:30 the previous evening and are moving closer to a unified plan, but still have a lot of work to do.

The commission will meet again on September 27, the last day the commission has to complete its work, to discuss the Senate districts.

Commission chair Donald Alexander said he will circulate among members a draft of the report the Apportionment Commission will submit to the legislature before the commission’s next meeting on September 27.

The legislature will convene on September 29 to consider the new district maps submitted by the commission.

Photo: MonsieurNapoléon, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

About Katherine Revello

Katherine Revello is a reporter for The Maine Wire. She has degrees in journalism and political science from the University of Maine. Her writing has appeared in Reason, The Washington Examiner, and various other publications. Got news tips? Contact Katherine at krevello@mainepolicy.org.

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