Detailed 2020 U.S. Census data is getting released Thursday, and this summer and fall, a committee of legislators will utilize the data to redraw North Dakota’s 47 legislative districts.
North Dakota Voters First (NDVF) is a grassroots organization trying to involve more people in the process by having them attend the redistricting meetings in person or virtually.
2020 North Dakota Census data shows that the state has grown by more than 100-thousand residents, and more people are migrating from rural areas to population centers.
This means that many rural districts will become larger geographical areas. NDVF is pushing for split districts for state representatives to ensure larger districts get equitable representation.
“A larger geographical area as these rural legislators can tell you can be really challenging, you know if they’re having Saturday morning debates during the session or going to church suppers, these sorts of things. I mean District 39 you’re going from Watford City to Bowman and that’s just a lot of space to cover, and the split districts for the house would just give better representation we feel,” explained NDVF Director Rick Gion.
NDVF hopes that by engaging the public the redistricting committee will respect existing city, county, reservation, and school boundaries, and keep communities of interest together.