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Between the Lines: A Fine Line for Idaho and Maine Redistricting

In Rhode Island, freshman Rep. David Cicilline’s (D) district will have to pick up some population from Rep. James Langevin’s (D) district, most likely in the Providence area, state insiders said. Hawaii’s 1st district must shed only a few hundred people to the 2nd district to even up the population distribution.

New Hampshire has two of the most competitive House districts of any of the aforementioned states. But ironically, the Granite State will probably have one of the least contentious redistricting sessions in the country.

Both GOP-held districts grew at an almost equal pace. If mapmakers switched around any of the territory, the Republican in the other district would suffer.

“If we did nothing to the two districts, we’d be fine,” said Greg Moore, the policy director for New Hampshire’s state House Republicans. “Anything that might help one district would theoretically hurt the other one.”

N.C. Seeks Preclearance; Georgia Governor Signs New Map

The North Carolina Legislature simultaneously submitted its Congressional redistricting law to the Department of Justice and the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

“What that practically means is that they get two bites at that apple,” Rep. Brad Miller (D) told Roll Call. “If they can persuade the Justice Department to preclear it, that would be the end of it. But if the Justice Department doesn’t, at that point they would pursue their claim in court.”

The 1965 Voting Rights Act requires certain jurisdictions to submit changes to voting boundaries for “preclearance” to either the DOJ or the court.

The North Carolina Congressional map that was passed into law substantially undermined favorable political contours of a number of Democratic-held districts, including Miller’s.

Meanwhile, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) signed a recently passed Congressional redistricting map into law Wednesday. “The Legislature has drawn districts that are compact, that keep communities of interest together and that visually make sense,” Deal said in a statement.

The new lines draw Rep. John Barrow (D) out of his district, strengthen the districts of Reps. Austin Scott (R) and Sanford Bishop (D), and add a heavily Republican district in the northeastern part of the state. Georgia was allotted a 14th district during reapportionment.

Deal’s office and a spokeswoman for the state attorney general said no decision had been reached on the path for preclearance.

New Mexico State Lawmakers Begin Redistricting Session

The New Mexico Legislature opened a special session this week to deal primarily with Congressional and state legislative redistricting.

Control of the redistricting process is split, with Democratic majorities in both chambers and Republican Gov. Susana Martinez able to veto their plans. Unless the two sides can agree, the redistricting process could head to the courts, as has happened for at least the past three decades.

Scott Forrester, executive director of the New Mexico Democratic Party, said legislative Democrats will push for fair and equal Congressional districts, but there is pessimism that anything that comes out of the Democratic-controlled Legislature will be vetoed.

Possibly slowing the process is Martinez’s push for the Legislature to use the special session to consider other proposals, including a bill to prevent illegal immigrants from being issued driver’s licenses.

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