DES MOINES, Iowa — The first maps showing proposed changes in boundaries for legislative and congressional districts in Iowa were released Thursday morning.
The non-partisan Legislative Services Agency was responsible for coming up with the redistricting maps. The LSA is tasked, by Iowa law, with minimizing gerrymandering and political influence when it makes its initial drafting of the districts.
State lawmakers got their first look at the maps Thursday morning, shortly before they were released to the general public.
A delay in receiving U.S. Census data, which helps shape the redistricting, meant the process was pushed back slightly. A deadline for the legislative districts to be approved by lawmakers, which is Sept. 15th, is written into Iowa’s Constitution. But it couldn’t be met because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Iowa Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission will hold three public hearings to gather public comment on Sept. 20, 21, and 22. The commission will use information gathered in those sessions to prepare a report for the Iowa Legislature.
A special session has been scheduled by Gov. Kim Reynolds for October 5th to allow lawmakers to vote on the proposed redistricting.
If lawmakers reject the first maps, the LSA has 35 days to make changes. If the second draft of the maps is also rejected the LSA gets another 35 days to make a third revision.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.