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Jasper County’s State Senate Representatives Reject Redistricting Plan 1

Jasper County’s representatives in the Iowa Senate, Republicans Zach Nunn of Altoona and Amy Sinclair of Allerton, joined all the other Senate Republicans this (Tuesday) afternoon and voted against the first plan for redrawing the boundaries for Iowa’s four congressional districts, 100 Iowa House districts and 50 Iowa Senate districts. The bill came up for debate in the Iowa Senate early this afternoon. Senator Roby Smith of Davenport was the only Republican to speak. He said “there are clear indications that Plan 1 can be improved by a second iteration addressing compactness and population deviation.” Once the bill failed in the Senate, there was no need for House members to take a vote. While all 32 Republicans in the Senate voted against the plan, the 18 Democrats voted for it. Senator Smith, speaking on behalf of Republicans in the senate, said Iowa law stipulates that districts resemble, as much as possible, squares, rectangles or hexagons. He argues “this map includes a triangle, a pyramid, a figure eight and a district that is so irregular it looks like the 1800s salamander known for gerrymandering.”  By state law, the non-partisan Legislative Committee now has up to 35 days — in the second week of November — to submit a second plan to legislators. Plan 2 for redistricting cannot be amended either. The Iowa Supreme Court has given the legislature until December 1 to approve a redistricting plan, following the steps outlined in state law for the process.