By Geoff Dornan Nevada Appeal November 13, 2021
Legislative Democrats introduced their redistricting plans for the coming decade Friday as the 33rd Special Session of the Nevada Legislature opened for business.
And Republicans in the minority cried foul saying it’s the most partisan set of maps ever, a plan designed to ensure a Democratic super majority through 2030.
Democrats also served notice they plan to move their plans quickly, suspending the rules that are designed to slow the passage of legislation so that everyone has time to absorb what’s in the measures. That would enable them to pass the redistricting bills in a day instead of three or more days.
Assembly Minority Leader Robin Titus of Smith Valley pointed to the map of Congressional District 4 which includes a hook that puts her in CD4 almost entirely surrounded by CD 2.
They also charged that Democrats packed a bunch more D’s into Sen. Heidi Seevers Gansert’s Reno district, turning it from a 2 percent GOP advantage district into a 4 percent Democratic advantage.
Assemblyman Jim Wheeler, R-Gardnerville, described the maps as blatant gerrymandering that not only treats Republicans unfairly but nonpartisan voters as well.
After the two floor sessions adjourned, the 11 Assembly member and seven Senate members of the joint committee on redistricting met to hear testimony on the non-controversial two subjects before them in the special session — a temporary shift in the dates for judicial office filings to accommodate county voting officials and the new district boundaries for the Nevada Board of regents. Both those issues are contained in Assembly Bill 1.
NSHE General Counsel Joe Reynolds told the joint committee the regents fully support the plan. He said it is consistent with what the regents voted for in September. With a total population of 3.1 million, he said the ideal population in each district is 238,316. He said the maps contained in the plan all come within a quarter of a percent of that number.
Major changes in the plan include extending Jason Geddes District 11 into Humboldt County and moving District 8 more south into Clark County.
Because of its population, 9.5 of the 13 regents’ districts are in Clark.
Election officials wanted the filing dates moved from January to March for the 2022 election cycle saying otherwise they would have to interrupt redistricting to file those candidates, then resume redistricting afterward.
Lawmakers in the joint committee plan to reconvene at 10 a.m. Saturday they will deal with SB1 containing the Senate and Assembly maps along with the congressional maps. They will first deal with SB1 containing the Senate districts. The Assembly has yet to file its Democratic redistricting bill.