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Missouri Governor Ratifies State’s New Congressional Districts

May 19, 2022 by Dan McCue
Missouri Governor Ratifies State’s New Congressional Districts
Missouri state Rep. Doug Richey points out elements of a proposed congressional redistricting map to fellow lawmakers during a House debate on Monday, May 9, 2022, in Jefferson City, Missouri. (AP Photo/David A. Lieb, File)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Wednesday signed a bill formally revising the boundaries of the state’s eight congressional districts, ending one of the more bitter standoffs of the entire redistricting “season.”

“Today, we signed into law a congressional map that meets our constitutional requirements,” Parson said as he put pen to paper at the statehouse Wednesday afternoon. 

“This past session, we saw a few individuals’ political posturing obstruct key pieces of priority legislation and promote inefficient and ineffective government,” he said, adding, “It’s unfortunate so much time and productivity were lost just to receive a map with the same partisan split that was proposed six months ago.”

Parson’s acceptance of the new map comes a week after the Missouri Senate voted to approve the new districts, 22-11. The new map is expected to maintain the Republican 6-2 advantage in the state’s congressional delegation.

There are still three pending lawsuits challenging a previous version of the congressional map, but all are expected to be rendered moot by Parson’s approval of the new map.

Now the burden shifts to local election officials who must update their voter rolls and ensure voters receive the correct ballots ahead of the state’s primary and general election.

Of Missouri’s 114 counties, nine have been moved, either partially or completely, into new districts.

Shortly after Parson signed the new map into law, Kelly Burton, president of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, released a statement that said, “After months of Republican infighting and an unnecessarily long, drawn out redistricting process, the congressional map enacted in Missouri preserves the status quo and secures the power of urban voters in Kansas City and St. Louis. 

“For months Republicans tried to gerrymander themselves into illegitimate representation in the congressional delegation and were stopped by public pressure. Their failure is a win for all Missourians who have for years been fighting against gerrymandering in the Show-Me state,” Burton said.

Dan can be reached at dan@thewellnews.com and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue.

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