Thursday, October 27, 2011

Redistricting Update: NV-0X No More... & NVLeg Almost Settled

Southern Nevada’s plethora of Democratic congressional candidates no longer have an excuse to delay announcing which district they will run for next year.

Carson District Judge James T. Russell today approved new district maps drawn by his three court masters after weeks of public hearings and number crunching.

Neither Republicans nor Democrats voiced an objection to the maps that reject the GOP argument that Hispanic voters were entitled to a majority-minority district under the Voting Rights Act.

Nice to see that's settled... But it's not all over yet.

Lawyers for both Republicans and Democrats said they need to review changes that Russell made to the Senate districts drawn by the masters before deciding whether to appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court.

Republicans had objected to the way the masters drew the Senate districts, arguing they gave an unfair advantage to Democrats in three Southern Nevada districts.

Russell rejected that argument, but said state Sen. Barbara Cegavaske’s district was too irregularly shaped to comply with the law. His changes had little impact on the partisan registration of the three districts Republicans objected to.

Well, SD 8 under the original map did look weird. As long as no one tries to manipulate this process to gerrymander for the Republicans, we should be OK. Perhaps since Judge Russell has already come under fire for rigging the NV-02 special election earlier this year, he'll mind his manners now. It seems like Russell is only making minor changes with the Summerlin area Senate Districts, so hopefully the Nevada Supremes can sort it all out in a fair manner.

But in the mean time, it's good to know the maps are starting to be set in stone now. It's time for the Nevada GOP to give up its fantasies of total gerrymander.

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