Iowa Capitol Dispatch, – September 22, 2021 (Medium)
Dozens of Iowans weighed in on the state’s first set of redistricted maps this week, submitting comments, speaking at public meetings – and even writing poetry about the proposal.
Overall, most residents spoke in favor of Iowa’s nonpartisan process, with only a handful of people bringing up specific concerns.
Wednesday night was the final public hearing on the maps. A five-member, bipartisan panel known as the Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission ran the virtual meeting, which lasted just over an hour.
Most participants endorsed the maps. They emphasized that lawmakers should approve the first plan because the Legislative Services Agency used a nonpartisan process to create them. Iowa’s redistricting process is notably fair compared to many other states, where political gerrymandering is common.
“It may cause some elected officials to move, retire or compete against other incumbents, but that is what our democracy is all about: competition and equal representation,” said Altoona resident MacKenzie Bills on Wednesday night.
Iowa Public Radio, – August 19, 2021 (Medium)
State officials started drawing new boundaries this week for Iowa’s legislative and congressional districts.
The state received 2020 U.S. Census data Aug. 12 after months of delays, and a key state official said the data was delivered in a usable format on Monday, kicking off the once-in-a-decade redistricting process.
Redrawing Iowa’s 100 state House of Representatives districts, 50 state Senate districts, and four congressional districts can have a significant impact on Iowans’ political representation.
Iowa Capital Dispatch, – May 29, 2021 (Short)
The chambers of the Iowa Senate and the Iowa House of Representatives are silent after a busy 2021 session.
Lawmakers teed up bills that addressed a wide assortment of problems, real or imagined.
They decided against an increase in tax revenues for the three state universities. They took away authority of local governments to impose face-mask requirements to combat current or future diseases. They made significant changes in the process for creating charter schools, which will operate with state tax money but will not face many requirements public K-12 schools must follow.
And they rewrote large portions of Iowa’s election laws. There are new restrictions on the use of absentee ballots. Election Day voting hours have been shortened by one hour.
But lawmakers went home without tackling a big inconsistency in how election recounts are conducted.