The commission in charge of drawing Montana’s new political boundaries remains stuck in a deadlock over how to split the state into two congressional districts.
The bipartisan Districting and Apportionment Commission failed to find consensus Thursday. Instead of putting forth a single map for consideration as planned, they advanced two.
Still, commissioners are getting closer to the finish line after whittling down from nine options.
Attorney Maylinn Smith is the commission’s nonpartisan chair.
“I think both of these maps have some really good concession on both sides on these and I would be interested in getting public comment on both of these maps.”
Both options create east-west districts. The Republicans’ option would put Lewis and Clark County in with eastern Montana. Democrats would keep that county in the west, and in turn, carve out Kalispell into the eastern district.
Democrats say the Republicans’ map will unduly favor the GOP in future elections. Republicans say the Democrats’ map fails to keep the districts compact.
The commission will meet again Saturday, October 30. Smith says she will use her tie-breaking vote to pick a map if the commission can’t agree on one option.
Montanans’ can comment on the maps at mt-redistricting.gov.