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Iowa lawmakers vote down new district maps

The votes are in, and the first round of redrawn congressional and legislative district maps...
The votes are in, and the first round of redrawn congressional and legislative district maps has failed.(Ethan Stein)
Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 1:03 PM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) - The votes are in, and the first round of redrawn congressional and legislative district maps has failed.

The vote was split down party lines, with all 32 GOP State Senators voting down the maps, while all 18 Democratic State Senators voted in favor of them.

The most significant change in the proposed maps was Linn, Johnson and Scott counties being in one congressional district. That would have put three strong historical liberal voting blocks together for the first time since elections in the 90s.

Those changes would have made reelection more difficult for Republican Congresswoman Ashley Hinson.

The failed maps would have made the second congressional district more conservative. Dubuque and Black Hawk County would have moved into the Second Congressional District.

The Legislative Services Agency released the proposed redistricting maps last month, but will now need to draw a new set of maps.

Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver, R-Ankeny, released the following statement after the vote:

“Iowa has a good redistricting process and by requesting a second map, the Senate has continued to follow that process today. Senate Republicans believe LSA can improve the compactness and population deviation of several districts by developing a second redistricting plan.”

Speaker of the Iowa House Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford, released the following statement:

As I have stated previously, I believe these maps to be fair maps for Iowa. However, I don’t believe the Senate’s concerns with compactness and population deviation are unwarranted. I am hopeful that LSA will produce a map that improves upon the Senate’s concerns and meets all of the other criteria for a fair map outlined in Iowa Code.

Going to a second map is not unprecedented and we are still following Iowa’s gold standard redistricting process. We have worked to maintain the integrity of redistricting process in Iowa and will continue to do so. Iowa House Republicans stand ready to do our due diligence to ensure the second set of maps is a fair map for the people of Iowa.”

Senate Democratic Leader Zach Wahls released the following statement:

“We are in completely uncharted territory, due to unprecedented delays. Today, Iowa Republicans could have ended the uncertainty and demonstrated a commitment to our non-partisan tradition. Instead, they rejected the LSA’s non-partisan plan in a party line vote.”

If redrawn maps are voted down a second and third time, lawmakers can amend the third set.

The district lines are redrawn every ten years.

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