by Jason Hancock, Missouri Independent
A panel of Missouri judges tasked with redrawing 34 state Senate districts released a tentative plan Monday, part of a once-in-a-decade process that reconfigures political boundaries following the U.S. Census.
The new map, drawn by the Judicial Redistricting Commission after a citizen commission failed to reach consensus, will be formally submitted to the Secretary of State’s office Tuesday. It’s release comes just two weeks before filing closes for potential candidates be on the primary ballot in August.
“The Judicial Redistricting Commission’s work has been thorough and labor intensive, and was purposefully undertaken with the goal to file a constitutionally compliant plan and map well in advance of the commission’s constitutional deadline to avoid disenfranchising voters given the candidate filing deadline and the deadline for preparing ballots,” said Western District Appeals Court Judge Cynthia L. Martin, who chaired the commission.
The Senate currently has 24 Republicans and 10 Democrats. Of the 17 state Senate districts on this year’s ballot, 14 are held by Republicans and three are held by Democrats.
Among the changes under the new map: The 20th District, which previously was made up of the parts of Greene County outside of Springfield and Christian County, has shifted its boundaries to drop Christian County and pick up Webster, Dade and Barton Counties. The incumbent in that district, Republican Sen. Eric Burlison of Battlefield, is giving up his seat to run for Congress. (See current map of district.)