Vague Timeline for Legislative and Congressional Redistricting Emerges

August 19, 2021

This week, the Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission met for its first meeting. This meeting provided clearer details about how the long-delayed redistricting process will unfold. With legally required public hearings, written reports and other statutory requirements, it is now certain that the Iowa Legislature will miss a constitutionally required September 1, 2021 deadline to approve legislative and congressional districts for the 2022-2030 elections. 

Accordingly, the Iowa Supreme Court has a duty under the Iowa Constitution to see that maps are created. While the Court is not in the business of telegraphing how it may rule in a future legal matter, it is thought that the Court will be accommodating and will likely allow the legislature to go into overtime to conclude their traditional process. Look for an October special session of the legislature to accomplish that.

Why it Matters to Members of ABI
Redistricting is a disruptive process. Since the modern Iowa approach to redistricting was adopted, the new legislative maps have caused sitting legislators to choose retirement over standing for re-election in new districts. At the congressional level, when new lines are drawn, entire counties can be moved from one district to another. At times, members of the Iowa Legislature or Congress move from one district to another to face voters most familiar with them. As district boundaries move, sitting legislators will also be thrown into districts with another incumbent legislator, which guarantees that an experienced legislator will not return after the election. As ABI seeks to advance public policy priorities in 2022, all of these factors will be an added subtext to decision making. 

To see more about the launch of the 2022 process go here: The Gazette: Iowa redistricting maps unlikely to meet Sept. 1 constitutional deadline

If you want to check if your town or county gained or lost population go here: The Gazette: Iowa 2020 census data map: County population change