Iowa Legislative Services Agency releases second redistricting plan

The legislature will convene next week to vote on the new proposal.


Rylee Wilson, Managing Editor

Iowa’s Legislative Services Agency has released its second redistricting plan after Senate Republicans rejected the first iteration of the map, concerned that certain districts were not compact enough. 

Lawmakers will reconvene in a special session on Oct. 28 to vote on the new maps. 

If the second map is not approved, the Legislative Services Agency will be tasked with drawing a third version, which legislators can make amendments to. This has not happened before in Iowa’s history. 

Iowa’s nonpartisan redistricting process requires districts to be of roughly equal population size. 

 They also have to be contiguous and compact, and cannot split counties.   

The Legislative Services Agency cannot take into account any demographic information aside from population when drawing the state’s districts. 

Iowa Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver said in a prepared statement on Tuesday that he looks forward to reviewing the maps. 

I appreciate the work LSA has done to quickly attempt to address the concerns the Senate expressed with Plan One. Plan Two is a regular part of the process outlined in Iowa law,” Whitver said. 

Iowa Senate Minority Leader Zach Wahls, D-Coralville, said in a written statement that the maps were fair and in line with Iowa law, and he said Democrats plan to vote for them.

“Republicans have an opportunity today to put this all to rest,” he wrote. “They can make a definitive statement today against gerrymandering by stating they’ll vote for the fair, non-partisan maps that were just released. We’ll have respected our gold-standard non-partisan redistricting process, and we can move onto the important work of solving the problems that hard-working Iowans face.”

House Minority Leader Rep. Jennifer Konfrst, D-Windsor Height, also said she would vote for the maps, calling them fair and nonpartisan.

“Iowa’s redistricting process has remained the gold standard, as it’s the fairest way to redraw our political boundaries,” Konfrst said in a prepared statement. “The law was created to keep partisanship out of this process to ensure fair representation for all Iowans.”

Under the new congressional plan, Johnson County would be in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District. Currently, it is the 2nd District, represented in Congress by Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks. 

If the proposed map were approved, Miller-Meeks, who lives in Wapello county, would live in the same district as current third district Democratic Rep. Cindy Axne. 

“I look forward to seeing the reapportionment process continue in Iowa’s traditional nonpartisan manner,” Miller-Meeks said in a prepared statement. “I will be a candidate for re-election; therefore, I will be eager to get to know the people, businesses, communities in my newly drawn district when the process is finalized.”

The second proposed map also splits Johnson and Linn counties. In the first proposal, these two counties were in the same district.