Some legislators perturbed by Wyoming redistricting principles

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July 15, 2011

Wyoming

CHEYENNE, Wyoming: Earlier this year the joint interim committee on Corporations, Elections, and Political Subdivisions adopted a set of principles intended to guide Wyoming's redistricting process.[1]

Notably absent from the list was consideration of where legislators reside. In other words, legislator's will be unable to defend a peculiar shape to a district in the name of keeping name recognition for the incumbent. This opens the door to incumbent legislators' being drawn into the same district and forced to compete for re-election.[1]

That decision prompted some contentious public meetings recently over how much to factor current incumbents into maps.[1]

"When we are redistricting the state, it doesn't matter whose district is whose. Some folks might be redistricted out because the districts are not cast in stone," said Peter Illoway (R), committee chair.[1] Nationwide, these pairings are not uncommon, and most state maps include a few pairings. Some of these are the result of demographic and geographic necessity while others are an attempt to eliminate partisan rivals.

The committee is expected to hold public meetings across the state through August 15, 2011.

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