|The Missouri Appellate Apportionment Commission has filed new state Senate and House of Representatives redistricting plans and maps with the Missouri Secretary of State. The Commission was appointed by the Supreme Court of Missouri as prescribed by the state constitution when bipartisan citizen apportionment commissions failed to reach agreement on new district lines in September. The state constitution gave the six appellate court judges 90 days to complete the task. This is only the second time in state history that a judicial panel has redistricted both chambers of the General Assembly.
Commission Chair, Lisa White Hardwick, said, “We have worked collaboratively to draw maps that comply with the constitution, the Voting Rights Act, and other legal requirements.” The districts take effect for primary and general elections next year. Candidate filing for election to the new districts begins February 28, 2012.
Redistricting occurs every 10 years following the census. Based on the 2010 Census, Missouri’s resident population increased by 7% to 5,988,927. This increase, combined with regional population shifts, required significant changes in the state’s 34 current Senate districts and 163 current House districts to meet the constitutional requirement that districts be as equal in population as practicable.
The Senate redistricting plan has an overall difference in population of 7.46% between its largest and smallest districts. The new plan has four African-American majority districts.
The House redistricting plan has an overall population difference of 7.80% between its largest and smallest districts. The new plan has 16 African-American majority districts. It also has two districts wherein combined racial minority populations comprise a majority. Thus, the House plan has a total of 18 districts where racial minorities constitute a majority of the population.
Summary maps and demographic reports describing the new legislative districts are posted here. Additional detailed maps and census descriptions filed with Secretary of State will also soon be available on the website.