The five states that have yet to draw US House maps

Seven months before the day of the midterm elections that will decide control of a tightly divided Congress, most states have completed the often controversial, sometimes downright ugly process of drawing new U.S. House district boundaries that will define the coming political decade.

But in five trailing states, lawmakers and governors have yet to agree on the final outlines of a map, and voters still don’t know which candidates they’ll be able to vote for once the primaries are fast approaching. not.

Here are the five states where congressional district maps remain unfinished:

FLORIDA — 28 seats

Stung by years of litigation over the past decade, Republicans who control the Florida legislature wanted to get through this year’s redistricting process with minimal fuss. They came up with a map that would have changed little except for a newly added Republican-leaning neighborhood in the Orlando area.

But the Governor of Florida. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisBiden’s decisions on Venezuela become flashpoint in Florida Florida state legislature approves biggest state budget ever The memo: Prepare for Biden again against Trump MORE (R) isn’t ready to give up the chance to fight.

DeSantis pledged to veto the legislature’s map unless lawmakers agree to dismantle a majority black district in North Florida, a seat currently held by Rep. Al LawsonAlfred (Al) James LawsonFlorida’s GOP-led Legislature Passes Congressional Maps Despite DeSantis Veto Threat Senate Republicans Must End Their Block Of Well-Qualified Federal Reserve Candidates Headaches Intensify for Democrats in Florida MORE (D). DeSantis says the district is violating the Voting Rights Act, though critics suspect he sees an opportunity to bolster his own conservative credentials.

“This is about Ron wanting to look like a conservative warrior fighting for a conservative card because that’s what conservative activists want,” said Florida Democratic data analyst Matthew Isbell. “Conservative activists were convinced that Florida was going to produce an extremely gerrymandered map for Republicans. As a result, when the legislator began to produce truly balanced projects, there was this anger which quickly manifested itself.

Legislative leaders have already adjourned their session and they have refused to accede to DeSantis’ demands. But DeSantis has a powerful tool at his disposal: a one-line veto that he could use to weed out the pet projects of any lawmaker who challenges him.

Florida’s Supreme Court will have the final say on district boundaries under the state’s Fair Maps Amendment, approved by voters in 2010. All seven justices are Republican nominees, three of whom were nominees by DeSantis.

But even if he doesn’t win, DeSantis has already made a point about the militant class — both in his state and across the country.

“Either way, he’s either a winner or a martyr,” Isbell said. “And either works great for him.”

OHIO — 15 seats

Ohio voters approved their own version of redistricting reform in 2015, creating a bipartisan commission to draw maps. But that Republican-controlled commission and the Republican-led legislature were stalled by the state Supreme Court, where a majority of justices rejected several proposals that would have given Republicans a major advantage in the competition for 15 state seats in the United States House. .

The court is now considering legal action against the commission’s latest maps, which would create 10 Republican-leaning districts, three in favor of Democrats and two competitive seats.

The delay is taking its toll with primary elections scheduled for May 3, just seven weeks away. Secretary of State Frank LaRose (right) told county election boards on Thursday they would not be able to include state legislative contests on the primary ballot after the Supreme Court struck down those maps this week . If the High Court does the same for the Congressional races, the primaries for those contests could also be delayed.

The reform measure was intended to incentivize lawmakers to adopt a bipartisan map. But a provision in the law allows lawmakers or the commission to adopt a partisan map that would only exist for four years, instead of the entire decade, so lawmakers can buy time to reach a broader agreement. .

In Columbus, Republicans are increasingly venting their anger at Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, a Republican who faces mandatory retirement later this year. O’Connor voted with the court’s three Democratic justices to knock down the Republican-endorsed cards.

“It is obvious that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court does not want to allow her successor to review the maps in four years,” said Jai Chabria, a Republican strategist and former top adviser to the ex-governor. John Kasich (R). “The mood among Republican lawmakers is furious at the ever-changing goals the Supreme Court is setting.”

MISSOURI — 8 seats

The Missouri state House of Representatives has approved a new map that would largely maintain the status quo, in which Republicans can win six of Missouri’s eight seats and leave two – based in St. Louis and Kansas City – to black Democratic lawmakers.

But the state Senate is sharply divided between moderate Republicans and Democrats, who favor the plan passed by the House, and conservatives who want to split the Kansas City district held by Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D).

The biggest obstacle to a more aggressive Republican push came from a bipartisan group of 11 female senators who bitterly criticized the partisan debate and blocked the Conservative plan.

Amid the fiercest debate in February, Kelli Jones, director of communications for Gov. Mike Parson (R), pointed to the divide between conservatives and moderates that has defined Missouri politics in recent years.

“Once again, it is the women of the Missouri Senate who are restoring common sense,” Jones said. wrote on Twitter. “It’s time we stopped tiptoeing around a few men’s fragile egos.”

LOUISIANA — 6 seats

In a state known for bizarre alliances and bizarre politics, Louisiana’s congressional district boundary debate is perhaps the most conventional stalemate on the list: Republicans in the legislature want to hold on to their 5-point advantage. -1, and Democrats and Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) want to attract an additional black-majority seat.

Edwards vetoed a map approved by the Republican legislature. Republicans have until next Friday to find the votes to override his veto, though they need at least a few Independent or Democratic votes to do so.

But what complicates Democratic hopes is that, unlike northern states, Louisiana’s black population is dispersed far beyond New Orleans and Baton Rouge, the state’s two largest cities. .

“The challenge is that Louisiana’s black population is quite dispersed throughout the state. It’s not like New York or Illinois where almost all black pop. is concentrated in an urban area. You have black populations in almost every parish in the state,” said John Couvillon, a veteran election analyst in Louisiana.

An iteration of Louisiana’s congressional districts created a second black-majority seat, approved in 1992, that snaked from Baton Rouge along the Mississippi River and into the northern cities of Monroe and Shreveport. But that district was struck down by a federal court in 1994; the judges called him the “Mark of Zorro” for its unsightly shape.

National Democratic groups have filed what is called deadlocked litigation in an attempt to force a federal court to draw the lines. But Louisiana lawmakers have something that lawmakers in other states don’t: time. Louisiana’s bizarre election laws mean the congressional primaries will take place on Nov. 8, the same day the rest of the country votes in the general election, with a general election scheduled for Dec. 10.

“We’re not under as much fire as, say, a Texas or a North Carolina or an Ohio would have been,” Couvillon said.

NEW HAMPSHIRE — 2 seats

Here’s another example of a Republican disagreement blocking a final map. Govt. Chris SununuChris SununuNew Hampshire Governor Vows to Veto US Cards House On The Money – Fed Begins Raising Rates As Prices Rise Hillicon Valley – Democrats Tackle Mega Mergers MORE (R) vowed to veto district lines approved this week by the Republican-controlled state legislature.

The Legislature maps would have made the most significant changes to New Hampshire’s congressional district lines in more than a century. GOP-approved district lines that would have created a likely Democratic district and a likely Republican district, rather than the two competitive seats that exist today.

“The redistricting map proposed by Congress is not in the best interests of New Hampshire and I will veto it as soon as it hits my desk,” Sununu said, minutes after the Senate State would have given its final approval to the maps. “The citizens of this state are counting on us to do better.”

In remarks last year, Sununu publicly questioned the reasoning for eliminating competition in the two districts to secure a seat. In a favorable year, says Sununu, the Republicans could win both seats.

Some New Hampshire Republicans say Sununu has another reason for preferring to keep the cards as they are: He was heavily involved in recruiting Jeff Cozzens (R), a craft brewery owner who challenges Representative Annie Kuster ( D) in the district which become more safely democratic under the map of the legislature.

“Sununu has recruited the best candidate we have ever had in [Kuster’s district], so now I believe he feels invested,” said Mike Dennehy, a longtime Republican strategist from New Hampshire. “If the GOP makes the proposed changes, Cozzens doesn’t have much prayer.”

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