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Nonpartisan Groups Won't Offer Redistricting Maps After All

Last updated on Tuesday, April 26, 2011

(STATEHOUSE) - Three nonpartisan groups which formed their own redistricting commission won’t be offering maps after all.

The league of women voters, AARP and Common Cause say software bugs kept them from drawing maps, and public computers the legislature set up proved unwieldy.

Common Cause's Julia Vaughn says legislators should delay passing maps until November.

She notes nine public hearings on redistricting took place before the maps were unveiled.

Citizens had just two chances and little notice to testify on the maps themselves.

The groups say Republican-drawn maps appear compact, and Vaughn praises house Republicans for their willingness to ignore where incumbents live; nine of the proposed districts pit two incumbents against each other.

But the groups say they can't pronounce the maps good or bad without political and demographic breakdowns.

By law, Congressional Maps must be completed by Friday, but General Assembly Maps have no formal deadline.

Republicans say counties won't have time to adjust precinct lines if legislators put off the vote.

Senate Elections Chairman Sue Landske says the process has been the most open in her 27 years in the legislature.

She says the nine hearings around the state on how people wanted to see districts drawn were unprecedented.

General Assembly maps should receive final senate approval Thursday.

Senators had to fix two typos in the Congressional Map, which will force the house to re-approve those districts Thursday or Friday.

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