Missouri’s Political Lineup
The state Senate redistricting commission failed to meet their August 28 deadline. Two panels of six appellate court judges, appointed by the Missouri Supreme Court, will take over and face a deadline of late December. There is no congressional deadline.
Who’s in Charge of Redistricting?
The legislature is responsible for congressional districting, while senatorial and house apportionment commissions are in charge of legislative districting. The 10-member senatorial commission is appointed by the governor. The governor is required to choose five members from each party's submitted list of 10 names. The 18-member house commission is chosen from a list of two names from both major parties for each of Missouri’s nine congressional districts. The governor chooses one representative from the two major parties in each district, creating the 18-member house commission. Members of both commissions are barred from running for state office within four years of the redistricting. The governor only has veto power over congressional district plans.
|Districting Principles |
Statute requires the legislature to hold public hearings. Printed maps are available, and versions of the House maps are available online.
A challenge to Missouri's legislative district plan on the grounds that it violated section 2 of the Voting Rights Act by diluting the votes of minority voters, was dismissed during the last redistricting.
Democrats look set to dominate redistricting in 2001, with a majority in both branches of the legislature and a Democratic governor. Missouri is a swing state, nearly evenly splitting its votes between the parties in national contests. Thus, the way congressional districts are drawn could result in significant changes in the state’s U.S. House delegation. Democrats Ike Skelton, Richard Gephardt, and retiring Pat Danner have performed ahead of their district partisan leanings. Redistricting could jeopardize those Democratic seats or strengthen them, depending on whether a court settles redistricting.
Voters rejected a referendum to have a commission in charge of redistricting for congressional districts.
B. Darrell Jackson