Montana's Districting Commission To Vote On Electoral Map Criteria
Montana’s independent commission charged with drawing the state’s new legislative and congressional districts is expected to vote this week on the rules for the map drawing process. The two Democrats and two Republicans on the Districting and Apportionment Commission proposed differing criteria to guide how new district lines are drawn.
The commission members agree that districts should be compact, in one piece and equal in population. However, they disagree on how to prioritize current political subdivisions.
Republicans want districts to follow existing political lines, like counties, school districts and American Indian reservations. Democrats want more wiggle room and to make that criteria discretionary.
A nonpartisan presiding officer holds the tie-breaking vote as the fifth member of the commission.
On Thursday, the commission will take public comment on their proposed criteria starting at 1 p.m. On Friday, starting at 8:30 a.m., they’ll make a final decision on the sideboards that guide their political map making.
The commission will also discuss whether incarcerated populations should be counted in their correctional facilities or home districts.
More information on how to submit public comments can be found at https://leg.mt.gov/districting/.