Kansas’ Political Lineup
The deadline for legislative redistricting is before the sine die adjournment of the 2002 legislative session. There is no deadline for congressional redistricting.
Who’s in Charge of Redistricting?
The state legislature initially draws both congressional and state legislative district lines. The Governor has veto power over both congressional and legislative.
Public hearings around the state are scheduled for this round of redistricting. The public may submit their own redistricting proposals to the legislature, and redistricting information is readily available to the public online. Proposed Congressional plans are also available online. In addition, the redistricting guidelines adopted by the standing committee prior to the adjournment of the 2001 legislature are available.
The state legislature is heavily Republican, and will likely have a free hand to redistrict (within the law) as they wish. During the last redistricting, the legislature was fairly evenly split, with Republicans holding a narrow margin in the Senate, and Democrats an even narrower margin in the House. There was also a Democratic Governor. Kansas lost one district after the 1990 census, and Republican incumbents were forced into primaries against one another.
In 2000, with lopsided control of the House and Senate, and a Republican Governor, Republicans have a strong advantage and could make things difficult for the Democrat’s sole U.S. Member Dennis Moore.
There is still a controversy surrounding Kansas' adjustment of the U.S. census figures to exclude certain military personnel and college students. There is also likely to be conflict between urban and rural interests.
A U.S. district court found the Kansas legislature's congressional plan to be unconstitutional on equal population grounds. The overall population deviation of the legislature's plan was 0.94 percent. The court rejected Kansas' stated desire to maintain county lines within individual congressional districts. A modified plan was adopted by the court with an overall deviation of 0.01 percent (69 people).
In 1999-2000, legislation was considered that would have amended the Kansas Constitution and lifted the requirement to adjust census figures to exclude nonresident military personnel and students.
Irregularly Shaped District
Kansas’ 4 districts generally follow county lines, though none of the districts are composed exclusively of whole counties.