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One Ky. Group Wants Your Input On Gerrymandering — And It's Not Necessarily Lawmakers

League of Women Voters of Kentucky

The League of Women Voters of Kentucky is holding a series of forums to gather voter input on redistricting, a move the General Assembly stopped short of endorsing during the 2021 regular session. 

Credit League of Women Voters of Kentucky

The GOP-led legislature is under the gun with 2020 census data arriving late and a 2022 candidate filing deadline currently set for January 7. Lawmakers will soon hash out new maps that will affect races ranging from the state’s six congressional seats all the way down to judicial, city, county, and school board contests.

With an independent redistricting commission not currently allowed under Kentucky law (that would take a Constitutional Amendment), the League of Women Voters has supported either an advisory commission or a series of public hearings and a commitment to a transparent process – neither of which has won support in the 2020 or 2021 General Assembly.

One example of a "puzzling" choice questioned by the league is the 1st District, which one speaker described as "a big dragon head and a small dragon tail." The district also spans more than half the length of the state along the southern border. 

The league's Dee Pregliasco warned that gerrymandering and poorly-drawn lines lead to costly lawsuits and unresponsive government.

"What we know is, when there are these safe districts and there's no competitions, then officials don't feel like they have to compromise," she told a Hopkinsville audience. "This has led to polarization and gridlock."

The non-partisan group will hold a virtual Lexington forum on redistricting October 21.

See the full Fair Maps Forum schedule here

Copyright 2021 WUKY

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now known as Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and Program Director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.