Redistricting Maps Approved
By Fred Knapp , Reporter/Producer Nebraska Public Media
Sept. 30, 2021, 5 p.m. ·
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The Nebraska Legislature gave final approval Thursday to maps redrawing the state’s congressional, legislative and other political districts, and Gov. Pete Ricketts signed them into law.
The Legislature wrapped up its two week special session on redistricting Thursday, voting final approval to new maps for elections to Congress, the Legislature, State Board of Education, University of Nebraska Board of Regents, Public Service Commission, and judicial retention elections. There were no changes proposed to the maps that advanced earlier this week, and most of the discussion concerned other issues, such as the prison staffing crisis and objections to the conversion of a room in the Capitol for nursing mothers into an office during construction. But Sen. Jen Day of Omaha talked about the redistricting process, which was compressed into a two-week special session due to census delays. Day is a registered Democrat in the officially nonpartisan Legislature, where registered Republicans outnumber Democrats 32-17.
“I don’t discount the feelings of people being upset at how some of these maps turned out. I know there’s people in the body and outside the body that are disappointed. But I also, being a part of the process for the first time, I saw how incredibly difficult this process is… And I respected that process. I saw the sacrifices that were made on both sides of the issue. And because I respected that process and the sacrifices that were made, I ended up being a ‘yes,’” Day said.
The congressional map ended up keeping all of Douglas County in the Omaha-area Second Congressional District, as Democrats had demanded, but added heavily Republican Saunders County to the district. It was approved 35-11 with all the no votes cast by Democrats. The legislative map wound up dividing the largely rural district of Sen. Matt Williams of Gothenburg among neighboring districts to create a new district in rapidly-growing Sarpy County. It also saw districts stretching from the Iowa and Kansas borders extended into the city of Lincoln. It was approved 37-7, with five Democrats who voted no joined by Republican Sens. Mike Groene and Steve Erdman, objecting to the loss of a rural district. Gov. Pete Ricketts then signed all the bills into law, meaning they’ll be in place for next year’s election.
(To see individual legislative districts, click on district number in this list).
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