BOISE, Id – Last Monday, Idaho’s Redistricting Commission was at an impasse. Members could not agree on a plan to redraw the state’s legislative boundaries. As their September deadline looms, time is running out. What happens if Commissioners fail?
Since June 7th, the six member, bi-partisan Redistricting Commission has been trying to find common ground. The Commissioners have been unable to draw either the Legislative or U-S Congressional map, both of which are due September 6th. Gary Moncrief is a Political Science Professor at Boise State University. He says there is no specific mandate for what happens if they fail to meet the deadline. The law only says the Idaho Supreme Court has authority at that point.
Gary Moncrief “Does the state supreme court tell the commission to keep working, does the state supreme court come up with its own plan, does the state supreme court appoint a special master to devise a plan, does the state supreme court decide to use last year’s district’s until after the next election?”
Moncrief says that confusion might be the incentive the Commission needs to buckle down and choose a plan.
Gary Moncrief “If there’s enough uncertainty about that on both side of the table, they will come up to a plan they will agree to. The devil you know is generally better than the one you don’t know and if nobody’s sure of what the process is and who’s in control of the process after they fail, then there’s a great incentive to get something done.”
Moncrief says he’s optimistic that Commissioners will meet their deadline. They only have four more meetings planned. The Commission meets again next Tuesday, August 30th.
Copyright 2011 BSPR