Redistricting is the process by which new congressional and state legislative district boundaries are drawn.
Each of Missouri’s eight United States Representatives and 197 state legislators are elected from political divisions called districts. District lines are redrawn every 10 years following completion of the United States census. There are stipulations that districts must have nearly equal populations and must not discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity.
The Missouri Office of Administration Division of Budget and Planning Redistricting Office is created immediately prior to every decennial census to assist the Missouri House and Senate Independent Bipartisan Citizens Commissions with redrawing legislative district lines. Services provided by the office include administering guidance regarding the procedures, responsibilities, and issues relating to the work of the Commissions. In addition to these services, the State Demographer provides requested assistance in all reapportionment and redistricting matters.
In July, Governor Parson appointed members to these bipartisan redistricting commissions for the House and Senate and the Census released the more detailed data needed to draw legislative district maps. Joni Wickham (Class of 2018 and member of the Board of Directors for GMLF) was appointed to the Senate Commission. During our recent session, we discussed population shifts and Missouri’s demographic information. We found this site to further inform.
Dates for public hearings that run from October through November across the state are noted on the site. The House Redistricting Commission has scheduled public hearings Oct. 18 in Springfield, Oct. 19 in Kansas City, and Oct. 21 in St. Louis, Nov. 4 in Jefferson City, Nov. 9 in Cape Girardeau, and Nov. 10 in Kirksville. The Senate Commission has confirmed plans for three public hearings: Oct. 16 in St. Louis, Oct. 18 in Springfield, and Oct. 19 in Kansas City.
When the 2021-2022 plans are created they will be added to the site.
If either commission can’t get a 70 percent vote, a panel of six Court of Appeals judges will determine the final maps early in 2022.
In addition, local governments are holding redistricting sessions and hearings too. Under most charters and rules these groups have until the end of this year to draw new lines based on data from last year’s federal census. Check your local municipality’s website to learn more. We also found this article to be informative published by the Missouri Municipal League.