First public unveilings of Redistricting Map drafts

Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 4:32 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - North Dakota is getting its first look at the new district lines. Lawmakers are submitting their ideas to the public to get feedback. All of the maps are different, but there are patterns being seen.

Lawmakers have two months to redraw the state lines. This will reshape the entire legislative body, and thus change priorities.

With time running out to draw the districts, many in the legislature are showing their versions, and there’s already some consensus.

Lawmakers are creating their own new boundaries.

In their first public unveiling, many of their maps keep districts relatively unchanged, while tinkering around the edges.

“There’s two kinds of redistricting. There is the ‘math geography’ and then there is the ‘political geography.’ And the math geography is quite simple. It’s one person, one vote,” said Sen. Ray Holmberg, R-Grand Forks.

Most of the maps used major roadways and city limits as borders, but some cities don’t fit the mold.

There’s increased focus on the urban parts of the state, which are seeing the fastest growth.

“We have a loss of population for our redistricting purposes because each district needs to find more than 2,000 more people, and then with some areas there just isn’t growth. We’re already in compact neighborhoods that you can’t really build much unless you tear down a few houses for an apartment building,” said House Minority Leader Josh Boschee, D-Fargo.

To make sure the districts are evenly populated, those areas are absorbing some of the rural areas around them and resulting in some creative lines.

Especially in Grand Forks, where one lawmaker described a line as having “the wiggle” up one street.

Lawmakers stressed that these maps are still only drafts, and many of them are still being polished.

Some are meeting with tribal nations in the coming weeks to work out their boundaries.

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