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Politics & Government

Through congressional redistricting, Ada County could be made whole again

A section of Idaho's map where Ada county is kept in it's entirety. This proposed congressional district would cover the lower fourth of Idaho's terrain.
Idaho Legislature
C02 is one of many proposed maps for Idaho's congressional district. Comissioners also debated another map that looked much like Idaho's current congressional districts, but trades Butte County's foot, for more of Ada County.

Idaho’s legislative leaders are busy working on new maps to determine the state's future political landscape. When it comes to congressional districts, Ada County might be whole again.

The job of the 2021 Commission for Reappointment is to redraw district maps, using the latest census data.

For Committee chair Dan Schmidt there’s two priorities that come to the front of mind when redrawing the lines for Idaho’s two congressional districts.

“Equal protection and keeping counties whole is the balance of this dance,” he said.

That’s trying to make sure voters in one part of the state don’t have more power than others and not dividing up counties. Historically splitting up the populous Ada County has been common practice.

Currently the commissioners are considering many maps, including some that keeps Ada County whole.

Commissioner Nels Mitchell says much of the feedback on those maps has been largely positive, but there’s some pushback.

“The vast majority of the negative testimony about the no county split maps was, well, ‘we need to divide Boise because we want Boise to be too powerful or Ada County is too powerful’” he paraphrased. “Well, that's the type of reasoning we're not supposed to be using once again under the statute.”

The commission meets again Thursday. They have until Nov. 30 to finalize versions of the congressional and legislative maps.

To see the agenda, look over and even propose congressional and legislative maps, check out the Idaho Legislatures' 2021 Commission for Reappointment page.

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