The Kansas legislature passed a racially and ethnically gerrymandered Congressional map in Ad Astra 2. The following is a brief overview of the concerns that KS Fair Maps has with this map.
Congressional map making was unnecessarily rushed
- The timeline from the introduction of Congressional maps to the final floor vote was just over 1 week.
- The public had less than 24 hours to submit testimony for House and Senate hearings on Ad Astra 2 and the full data set for the map wasn’t released until the testimony deadline had passed
- Legislators were told they needed 5 days to submit an amendment on any maps, but were given less than 1 day between when the Senate committee passed Ad Astra 2 and when it was passed in a floor vote.
- For a complete timeline, visit KS Fair Maps
Ad Astra 2 cracks the population of Black and Hispanic voters of CD03
- The way the Ad Astra 2 map is drawn unconstitutionally dilutes the vote of Black and Hispanic voters, thus reducing their ability to elect candidates of their choice.
- The map shifts the Black and Hispanic population out of the 3rd Congressional District by removing Wyandotte County north of I-70 and placing it into the 2nd District, removing
- 46% of the Black population (21,307), a reduction from 8.0% of the total population in the 3rd District in 2012 to 4.8%
- 33% of the Hispanic population (22,947), a reduction from 14.0% of the total population in the 3rd District in 2012 to 10.0%
- The court said in 2012 that Wyandotte County should remain whole
- “The Court also agrees with O’Sullivan that Wyandotte County should be placed in a single district so that the voting power of its large minority population may not be diluted” (pg 22)
- Hundreds of pieces of public testimony requested that the KC metro remain whole in the 3rd district.
- During the 2021 August and November listening tours, 243 pieces of testimony (61%) requested that the KC metro area remain together.
- In January, 1,998 emails were sent to Legislators using the KS Fair Maps form to oppose the Ad Astra Map and specifically mentioned keeping the KC metro area together. This was not limited to residents of the 3rd District: 124 were in District 1, 420 were in District 2, 232 were in District 4, and 820 were in District 3 with 99 people from Wyandotte County and 712 people from Johnson County
Ad Astra 2 displaces KU and Lawrence in rural CD01
- The map concentrates the college and youth vote into the rural 1st Congressional district and places two of the state’s largest universities (KU and KSU) into one district, thereby diluting the voting power of young Kansans.
- There is no record during this redistricting process of public requests for KU and KSU to be placed in a single district. During the 2021 listening tour, there is no public testimony from Manhattan or Lawrence that requests that the colleges be placed in the same district. The city of Lawrence submitted testimony opposing Ad Astra 2.
Ad Astra 2 splits Voting Precincts and Communities of Interest
- The map splits 17 precincts, which can contribute to election administrative error like wrong ballots being issued.
- The Ad Astra 2 map draws boundaries that separate communities in ways that don't make sense. Public input from residents in both rural and urban communities have acknowledged that they hold little in common with their counterpart, and feel that forcing Wyandotte County into the rural 1st District would jeopardize economic and legislative interests.
- The proposed map does not recognize Communities of Interest (economic, social, cultural, racial, ethnic interests which are probably subjects of legislation), specifically those distinct interests of the rural and urban areas by moving half of Wyandotte County and part of Lawrence into new districts.
- The 2012 Essex v. Kobach case tells us that every effort should be made to preserve the core of existing districts when defining “communities of interest” in establishing district boundaries.
- The courts identified the KC metro area as the ‘core’ of the 3rd District due to representing a socio-economic unit when requiring that Johnson and Wyandotte counties remain together.
Ad Astra 2 violates adopted redistricting technical rules and guidelines
- Districts are not compact. With a score ranging from 0 to 1 with 1 being the most compact, the Ad Astra 2 map scores each district between 0.37 - 0.41. It is possible to draw maps that are more compact and contiguous. As a comparison, the most compact map introduced in the House is the Bluestem map with each district scoring between 0.41 - 0.58.
- Since the 3rd District has grown in population, new Congressional map should reduce the geographic scope of the District to make it more compact. Instead, Ad Astra adds new counties (Franklin and Anderson)
Ad Astra 2 puts political gain above Kansan interests
- When asked who created the Ad Astra 2 map, House Committee on Redistricting Chairman Croft refused to give a definitive answer. This map was drawn and pushed through by unnamed individuals and interests, though it is clear that this map is drawn to benefit the interest of legislative leadership.
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KS Fair Maps is a nonpartisan grassroots education and engagement effort by organizations and individuals who want to see an equitable redistricting process that: is accessible to all Kansans and allows for meaningful participation regardless of location, ability, or language; is free of partisan tactics and bias; and results in districts of equal population based on the constitution, law, and communities of interest. Learn more at KSFairMaps.org and KSMapasJustos.org.
KS Fair Maps member organizations: ACLU of Kansas, Equality Kansas, Kansas African American Affairs Commission, Kansas Action for Children, Kansas Appleseed, Kansas Civic Engagement Table, Kansas Commission on Disability Concerns, Kansas Interfaith Action, Kansas Hispanic and Latino American Affairs Commission, League of Women Voters of Kansas, Loud Light, Mainstream Coalition, The Voter Network, Working Kansas Alliance