First legislative attempt at Iowa redistricting fails

Photo: Dorwart, Mike (uploader)

DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Iowa Legislature's first attempt at political redistricting failed Tuesday as the Senate voted down an initial set of maps setting Iowa House, Senate and U.S. House Districts.

"Senate File 620 may meet statutory requirements, however there are opportunities for these maps to be improved on compactness and population deviation. Voting down the first plan does not violate the quote-unquote gold standard," said Davenport Republican Sen. Roby Smith, who floor managed the bill.

Before the party-line vote, with all 32 Senate majority Republicans voting down the initial redistricting plan, minority Democrats urged their colleagues to approve the maps.

"This map is fair. It's independent. It does not give an advantage of one party over the other. It does not, nor should it," says Dubuque Democratic Sen. Pam Jochum.

The Iowa House didn't take up the redistricting plan after the Senate voted it down.

The non-partisan Legislative Services Agency will now draw-up a second set of redistricting maps for an up-or-down legislative vote.

If those maps are voted down, the LSA will then draw up a third set--which lawmakers can amend. That could give majority Republicans in the Iowa House and Senate the ability to draw the maps in ways that benefit them in 2022's state and federal elections.

The Iowa Supreme Court has set a December 1st deadline to have the maps approved.

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