BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A Republican-controlled legislative committee is discussing ideas for new legislative maps.
The Legislature must draw new political boundaries based on the 2020 census to make sure every lawmaker is representing about the same number of people.
The 16-member committee has little option than to shift the political balance of power to the state’s urban areas for the next decade. It held its second meeting Wednesday.
North Dakota’s population is estimated at a record 779,000, up almost 16% during the last decade and mostly in urban areas.
“Southwest North Dakota, we have a little bit of everything. We have population growth, we’ve got stagnation, we got low populated counties. In a perfect world, you’d divide Stark County in half, add a little bit of population to McKenzie County and call it good. But you’ve got six counties out there that have about 12,000 people,” said Dickinson Rep. Mike Lefor.
The panel has focused on keeping 47 districts, rather than changing the Legislature’s size.