Losing Voters Through Legislative Redistricting

Jun 17, 2013

Credit freedomkentucky.org

Kentucky lawmakers will likely make the trip back to Frankfort before fall.  They will try to finalize new legislative boundaries.  Within the next week, Governor Beshear expects to announce the dates for a special session.  Madison County Senator Republican Jared Carpenter says the realignment of lawmaker districts should be a bit easier in his legislative chamber.

"It makes it a lot better when you just have 38 members in that body and as a majority on the republican side, you now we’ve got 24 members pretty much with Senator Leeper.  It makes it a little less cumbersome to try to accommodate as many people.  The story is always majority party always kind of controls the mapping and that’s what’s been done in the past, so it’s good to be in the majority,” said Carpenter.

The General Assembly failed to approve a new map during this year’s regular session.  Another earlier attempt failed when the State Supreme Court found the new boundaries unconstitutional.  Still, Carpenter predicts their next attempt will result in a good, legal map.

“I think they’re gonna have to make sure they meet constitutional mustar, because if they don’t, I think it’s been shown, they’re gonna take it to court and there’s gonna be people to stand up to make sure it’s constitutional.  And you know I hope we don’t get into political games and just do what’s right for the district to make sure we get representatives to represent the people in those areas so we can get past all the antics of politics,” added Carpenter.

Richmond Representative Rita Smart could find herself with a slightly smaller district.  Population gains since the last census put her Madison County district about two thousand residents above the maximum size.

“Madison County , with the house districts, will probably have four representatives.  We were the first county, from the east, that they were able to split, and that has to do with population,” explained Smart.

There are one hundred members in the Kentucky House, compared to 38 in the Kentucky Senate.