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Oregon Lawmakers Gear Up For Redistricting Process

The Oregon legislature is already gearing up for the once-a-decade task of redrawing political boundaries.

This time around, technical advances in redistricting tools make the process more accessible and detailed than ever before.

Both the House and the Senate have redistricting committees and there’s talk of hearings around the state. But if lawmakers fail to agree on a plan, the job of redrawing legislative boundaries falls to Secretary of State Kate Brown.

Then, she would present a plan to the Oregon Supreme Court.

The same process has happened in every decade for at least 60 years.

With the Oregon House evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans there’s no telling what will happen this year.

And Kappy Eaton with the Oregon League of Women Voters says new, highly accessible mapping technology means everybody, not just lawmakers, could have their own version.

Kappy Eaton:  “There’s going to be some more interesting dialogue between citizens who have figured out how to do this and the legislature.”

In Washington and Idaho, the redistricting process is handled by a commission separate from the legislature. Final census details wonít be released for several more months.

Oregon Legislature’s Redistricting page