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How does the Legislature prepare for redistricting?

 

 

The earliest preparation for each redistricting since 1989 has involved participation in the U.S. Census Bureau’s Redistricting Data Program. Most recently, the Legislative Coordinating Council in 2005 decided to participate in Phase 1 of the Census 2010 Redistricting Data Program. In Phase 1 the Research Department provided the Census Bureau with Kansas' current legislative district boundaries.


Phase 2 of the Redistricting Data Program began in 2007. In that phase, the Research Department, through an agreement with the Kansas GIS Data Access and Support Center, provided computer files to the Census Bureau delineating precincts and suggesting boundaries for the 2010 tabulation census blocks. Verification of the resulting precinct and block boundaries was completed in early 2010. Legislative staff also assembles general election and voter registration data that may be included in the redistricting database. (Decisions regarding what, if any, data in addition to population counts are included in the redistricting database are made by the Redistricting Advisory Group, a special committee created by the Legislative Coordinating Council.)


In Phase 3 of the Redistricting Data Program, the Legislature received the 2010 Decennial Census 2010 redistricting data on April 1, 2011. Once those Census results were received, the Secretary of State began making adjustments based on data collected from colleges, universities, and military installations in the State.


During the Fall of 2009, the Legislative Coordinating Council appointed a special committee, the Redistricting Advisory Group, to assist with preparations for the redistricting effort. The Advisory Group is composed of three Senators and three Representatives. The Advisory Group is staffed by the Legislative Research Department and the Office of the Revisor of Statutes. Among the decisions that the Advisory Group may make are the following:


  • Who should take the lead in the organization and planning for redistricting;
  • The type of staff and technical support the Legislature will need for redistricting;
  • How the work for redistricting will be organized in 2011 and 2012; and
  • Any statutory or constitutional changes that might be necessary to facilitate timely completion of redistricting.