Oct 6, 2021 - Politics

Iowa Senate Republicans reject first set of redistricting maps

A map of the rejected proposal for redistricting.
The rejected first map. Map courtesy of LSA

Iowa Senate Republicans rejected the first proposed set of redistricting maps Tuesday, drawing out a process that has Democrats on edge about possible gerrymandering.

Driving the news: The state Senate scrapped the maps in a party-line vote, 32-18.

State of play: It's back to the drawing board for the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency, which is responsible for presenting new maps.

  • If the second set is rejected, they will move on to a third and final set, which the Republican-majority Legislature can amend.

What they're saying: Republican Sen. Roby Smith said there were flaws in the first maps, saying the districts were drawn irregularly. He argued the population distribution could be more even, Iowa Capital Dispatch reports.

  • No other Republicans spoke during debate.

The other side: Democrats supported the first set of maps and said they satisfied Iowa's history of fair redistricting.

  • Democrat Sen. Tony Bisignano warned that if lawmakers reach the third map, they risk Iowa looking like one of the "worst" gerrymandered states, ICD reports.

What's ahead: LSA has 35 days to present a new set of maps.

  • The Iowa Supreme Court gave the Legislature until Dec. 1 to approve a map or else it will step in — putting pressure on the process.

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