League of Women Voters of Kentucky (LWV) news conference, held at Kentucky's State Capitol Rotunda, discussed the need for the Kentucky Fair Maps Act, now House Bill 326. Click here to read and listen to the new conference reports!
After the 2020 Census, Kentucky will draw new maps to show which parts of the state elect each member of the
If the Fair Maps Act becomes law, a
fifteen-member Advisory Redistricting Commission will use statewide input to develop those district lines. While
Kentucky's General Assembly will still make the final decision, legislators will consider Commission’s recommendations first and ask the Commission for revisions second, with an option of developing its own plan after completing those steps.
The goal is to develop fair maps based on wide public input. Join us!
From the very beginning, the U.S. Constitution has required a Census every 10 years to decide how many Representatives each state gets in Congress.
The Kentucky Constitution contains a matching requirement: we use the federal Census to adjust seats in our House and Senate.
Using Census data lets us move toward districts that represent equal numbers of people - fair maps.
If . . . If House Bill 326, the Fair Maps Act becomes Kentucky law (remember, this can only happen with the help of citizens like you! . . .
If the Fair Maps Act becomes Kentucky law, the Commission’s assignment will be to create compact districts of equal size that reflect Kentucky’s diversity and meet other legal requirements, including Kentucky’s constitutional requirement to divide the smallest possible number of counties.
The Commission rules will not allow efforts to design maps to give an advantage to any political party, political opinion, or current office-holder. Instead, the Commission will develop its recommendations based on local concerns heard during hearings held all over the commonwealth.
The first eight members will be chosen by leaders of Kentucky's General Assembly: two each by the Speaker of the House, the Senate President, and the Minority Leaders for both the Senate & House chambers.
Seven more members will be people who have applied for the positions. The Secretary of State will randomly select twenty (20) applicants who are not registered with either the Democratic or the Republican party, and a final selection of three (3) of those twenty will be chosen by the eight people already on the Commission.
The Secretary will also randomly draw 10 applicants who are registered with each major party (Democratic and Republican), and the original eight will choose two (2) further person from each of those lists.
Members will include people of different races and linguistic groups, from rural and urban areas, and from all of Kentucky’s six Congressional districts.
Members will not include anyone who has recently run for partisan office or served in party leadership.
House Bill 326, the Kentucky Fair Maps Act, if enacted as proposed, would require hearings in locations across the commonwealth.
A first set of hearings will gather input and advice on how the maps should be drawn, and then a second set will collect responses to maps proposed by Commission members.
All meetings will be open to the public and all input will be kept as public records.
The Commission will not decide on its recommendations until after it has heard public thought on all the proposals
After the first set of input hearings, Commission members will propose new district maps. Their proposals will be checked for features like:
The proposals will be published and then discussed at the Commission’s second set of hearings.
After the second hearings, Commission members will vote on which maps to recommend.
If no set of maps gets nine votes, members will move to ranked choice voting. Ranked choice means each Commission member will identify a first choice, a second choice, and so on, and those choices will be summed to adopt the maps with the greatest total support.
If the General Assembly does not accept the maps, it will ask the Commission for a new version and give advice on changes to be made. If the General Assembly does not accept the Commission’s second set of recommendations, it will draw maps of its own.
The Commission’s work will involve many different citizens thinking about the issue and contributing to maps that are fair to people in all parts of the commonwealth. Because the recommended maps will be people-powered, the General Assembly will have good reason to take them seriously.
Even if legislators end up developing their own approach, the Commission’s open process will:
If the bill becomes law, these will be the main deadlines for implementing the Commission’s work:
In early 2022, the Commission may also be asked to submit a second set of plans during the General Assembly session.
In future decades, a matching timetable will be used for new Commissions to design fair maps after each Census.
The Kentucky Fair Maps Act has been filed as House Bill 326. An information packet is available, which you can download by clicking on this link and following directions.
Although House Bill 326 has been filed, the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission website does not yet have the bill available on the site. As soon as it is available, a link to House Bill 326 will appear here.
If you know your legislator, please contact him/her by clicking on this link and by asking for support in sponsoring and supporting House Bill 326, the Kentucky Fair Maps Act.
If you are a Kentucky citizen, you can:
■ Urge your state legislators (your Kentucky Representative and your Kentucky State Senator) to support the House Bill 326. Click here for specific talking points in discussing the Kentucky Fair Maps proposal. Again, if you don't know who your state legislator is, click here to easily locate their name, email address, & phone number.
■ Sign up for action alerts by email from the Kentucky Fair Maps Coalition. We’ll let you know when key votes in the General Assembly need your support. Sign-up here:
■ Follow our tweets and posts. We’re @kyfairmaps and www.facebook.com/KYFairMaps.
■ Share our alerts, tweets, and posts with your friends, neighbors, and networks to build a broader coalition of support.
Sign up - to share your ideas, to keep up to date, & to help educate others about fair maps and redistricting!