Connecticut Misses Redistricting Deadline: Ballots & Boundaries

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Connecticut’s redistricting commission didn’t finish its congressional map by today’s noon deadline.

“The members of the Reapportionment Commission hereby report that, despite their best efforts, the Commission has been unable to reach agreement on a congressional plan of districting,” the commission, composed primarily of Democratic and Republican state legislative leaders, said in a filing today to the state Supreme Court.

That means it’ll be up to the state Supreme Court to draw the lines, as it did 10 years ago. Connecticut has five congressional districts, all held by Democrats. — Greg Giroux

CALIFORNIA: POST-REDISTRICTING OFF-RAMP

Some California freshmen in the congressional class of 2023 will have less turf in common with their predecessors because of redistricting.

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard announced her retirement yesterday, just before the state’s redistricting commission approved a new map. Reps. Karen Bass (D), Alan Lowenthal (D), Devin Nunes (R), and Jackie Speier (D) were already headed for the exit.

The three Republicans and two Democrats who filed to run in Nunes’ Fresno-area seat would represent only a portion of the congressman’s constituents, as parts of the district shift to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy‘s (R) likely seat. The Nunes district swings from a GOP seat to one where more than 60% of voters chose Joe Biden (D) for president in 2020.

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, who is vying for Lowenthal’s seat, would be running in a district that covers roughly half of the incumbent’s territory. It’s the same for former Burlingame Mayor Emily Beach, San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa, and Assemblymember Kevin Mullin, all who are running to replace Speier.

State Sen. Sydney Kamlager (D) would campaign in roughly the same district as Bass’s seat. Roybal-Allard’s 40th Congressional District will be largely absorbed into the new Long Beach-based district. — Tiffany Stecker

See also: A Look at the New Congressional Map (CalMatters)

CALIFORNIA: CHALLENGE DENIED
The California Supreme Court declined to hear arguments alleging the state’s redistricting commission held unlawful closed-door meetings with interest groups. The lawsuit, brought by Republican lawyer Harmeet Dhillon, sought to compel the commission to release documents and end its contract with Strumwasser & Woocher LLP, a firm with ties to the California Legislature. — Tiffany Stecker

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NEW JERSEY: VOTE TOMORROW
New Jersey’s redistricting commission will meet tomorrowto vote on a new congressional map.

The 13-member panel has six Democrats, six Republicans, and tie-breaking Chair John E. Wallace Jr., a former state Supreme Court justice. Democrats currently hold a 10–2 advantage in the House delegation. Democrats Andy Kim, Josh Gottheimer, Tom Malinowski, and Mikie Sherrill, and Republican Jeff Van Drew presently represent competitive districts. — Greg Giroux

MISSISSIPPI: MAP COMPLAINT
Mississippi’s only district with a Black congressional representative would grow significantly in size under a proposal from the state’s Joint Legislative Committee on Redistricting. The map drew an ethics complaint from civil and voting rights groups, who argue lawmakers violated open meeting laws in the map-drawing process.

Mississippi’s four House members—three Republicans and one Democrat—likely would keep their seats if the map gets final approval from lawmakers and Gov. Tate Reeves (R). — Jennifer Kay

NEW MEXICO: HERRELL IMPACT
The new congressional district lines are now law.

One district to watch is the 2nd, to which the Democratic legislature appended a heavily Hispanic Democratic neighborhood to the Albuquerque area represented by Yvette Herrell, the lone Republican in the state’s delegation.

Source: New Mexico legislature

Herrell’s 2nd District currently is a Republican-leaning area centered in southern New Mexico. President Joe Biden would have carried the reconfigured 2nd District by 52%–46%, a big change from the 55%–43% margin for Donald Trump under the current lines. Herrell was elected 54%–46% in 2020, unseating one-term Democrat Xochitl Torres Small. — Greg Giroux

LOUISIANA: MAJORITY-BLACK DISTRICT
Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) wants Louisiana’s GOP-led Legislature to create a second majority-Black congressional district when lawmakers convene a special session to reconfigure the state’s six U.S. House districts. A third of the state’s residents are Black, Edwards said during his year-end news conference. “Obviously, if you want to talk about fairness and making sure that the maps reflect the reality, what the situation is on the ground, that should certainly be our goal,” he said. — Jennifer Kay

PENNSYLVANIA: MORE LITIGATION

Add Pennsylvania to the list of states where Democrats are asking judges to take over congressional line-drawing. The latest lawsuit echoes similar complaints about slow action in Louisiana, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Meanwhile, the legislative process is chugging along, with the House State Government Committee advancing a draft map.

Also in Harrisburg, The Associated Press reports that Senate Republicans now want to include inspecting voting machines in their probe of the 2020 election. — Jennifer Kay

This You Want To Hear

BGOV’s “Downballot Counts” podcast continued its look at redistricting, this week with guest Kelly Burton, president of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee. Listen here and if you missed the episode with Adam Kincaid, head of the National Republican Redistricting Trust, catch that one here.

Caught Our Eye

  • A review of every potential case of voter fraud in the six battleground states disputed by former President Donald Trump has found fewer than 475. (The Associated Press)
  • The Texas attorney general no longer may unilaterally prosecute voter fraud, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled. (The Dallas Morning News)

Resources

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With assistance from Kimberly Wayne

To contact the reporters on this story: Jennifer Kay in Miami at jkay@bloomberglaw.com; Tiffany Stecker in Sacramento, Calif. at tstecker@bgov.com; Greg Giroux in Washington at ggiroux@bgov.com; Alex Ebert in Columbus, Ohio at aebert@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Tina May at tmay@bloomberglaw.com; Katherine Rizzo at krizzo@bgov.com

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