League of Women Voters urges redistricting advisory group

January 13, 2020 GMT

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — In a preemptive push well ahead of the next round of legislative redistricting, the League of Women Voters of Kentucky on Monday urged state lawmakers to create a citizen-led commission to recommend new state and federal legislative maps.

The proposal would set up a 15-member advisory commission that would reach out to Kentuckians to gather input before developing a plan for setting state and federal legislative districts. The plan would be submitted to the state legislature, which would make the final decision.

Kentucky League President Fran Wagner said the proposal would help ensure that the redistricting process is fair and transparent.

League officials said they’re working to line up legislative sponsors for the proposal. Several Democratic lawmakers attended the league’s news conference at the state Capitol.

The legislature is required to redraw legislative district boundaries once every 10 years to account for population shifts. Lawmakers will draw new boundaries based on the 2020 census. Republicans firmly in control of both legislative chambers will have enormous influence in drawing the maps.

Under the league-backed proposal, lawmakers would be required to consider the advisory commission’s recommendations and ask for revisions before developing their own plan.

Fifteen other states have similar redistricting commissions, the league said.