AUGUSTA — Today, the Legislature’s Apportionment Commission met to continue working on efforts to redraw Maine’s legislative, congressional and county commissioner districts to reflect changes in population following the latest census.
Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, who serves on the Legislature’s Apportionment Commission, urged his colleagues to follow common-sense guidelines when putting together map proposals, saying:
“Redrawing legislative and congressional districts is no easy task. Having served on the Apportionment Commission during the last redistricting process, I know that it’s possible for this bipartisan commission to come up with reasonable maps that best reflect Maine people and communities, and can earn the necessary two-thirds support from the Maine Legislature. This only works if we agree to common principles.
“As Senate Democrats, we strongly commit to the following principles:
- In a majority of proposed State Senate districts, voters should not have a different senate district;
- In no proposal should State Senate incumbents be forced to run against each other;
- We should not split more towns and communities than the current state senate map – in fact, we should try to split less;
- Most importantly, proposed State Senate districts should keep communities of interest together.
“I was glad to hear that other members of the Apportionment Commission seemed to agree that these are values and principles we should all be able to support.”
“Maine has a long history of adopting apportionment plans that are built on bipartisan consensus and ensure all Mainers have a fair shot in having their voices heard in the laws and decisions that affect their lives,” said Sen. Nate Libby, D-Lewiston, who serves as a member of the Legislature’s Apportionment Commission. “Although we are operating on a very short timeline, I am optimistic the parties, stakeholders and the public can once again come together and agree on maps that are fair for everyone.”
Judge Donald G. Alexander, a retired Maine Supreme Court Justice who serves as Chair of the Legislature’s Apportionment Commission, noted that “some of the criteria which has been recognized by the courts include trying to avoid having incumbents run against each other” and “keeping communities together.”
The bipartisan Apportionment Commission is made up of 15 members. The composition of the Commission is outlined in Article 4, Part Third, Section 1-A of the Maine Constitution. The membership list is available here.
All Apportionment Committee meetings are available on the Maine Legislature’s YouTube channel here.