Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Supported by

Political parties map out future during redistricting debate in Carson City

Lawmakers display maps of proposed legislative districts during debate in Carson City.
Associated Press

Lawmakers display maps of proposed legislative districts during debate in Carson City.

Every 10 years the Legislature redraws congressional, state Senate and Assembly district lines to accommodate changes in Nevada's population.

And every 10 years the minority party says the one in power is taking political advantage of the opportunity.

That is holding true this year as the Democratic-controlled Legislature is finishing its work on new boundaries after being called into special session last week by Gov. Steve Sisolak.

“The person you had representing you for the last decade, might not be representing you going forward,” said Las Vegas Review-Journal political columnist Steve Sebelius, providing the most obvious evidence of redistricting.

He said at a deeper level the parties are also trying to shape the political battlefields for the next decade.

Republicans “are not liking the districts primarily, although, you know, they don't come out and say this, but primarily because it's going to make it more difficult for them to get elected,” Sebelius said.

Others expressing concern over the process include some in the Hispanic community who fear losing clout as Latino voters, a solid Democratic bloc, are spread over more congressional districts to keep them blue.

“I don't know if they anticipated this level of pushback from the Latino community,” Sebelius said.

Open-government advocate and CSN Professor Sondra Cosgrove said Democrats — who are trying to encroach into GOP turf in the north and strengthen the party’s hold in the south —  are making cold calculations about the electoral future.

“The Democrats are assuming there's nothing on the books that say that they can't do partisan gerrymandering, so they're just gonna say it's legal,” she said.

Sondra Cosgrove, executive director of Vote Nevada, CSN professor;  Steve Sebelius, political columnist, Las Vegas Review-Journal

Stay Connected
Dave Berns, now a producer for State of Nevada, recently returned to KNPR after having previously worked for the station from 2005 to 2009.