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Eye On Boise

Redistricting: ‘Excellent chance of getting this thing wrapped up without drama’

Idaho's citizen redistricting commission has wrapped up its 14th and final public hearing tonight in Meridian, after a full two hours of testimony. "It has been a profound and rich experience for me," said Commissioner Julie Kane of Lapwai. "I think we are a very diverse state. ... We heard from a lot of people in different areas that have different interests. ... We will try our best to accommodate those interests." She noted that the commission will start considering plans on Thursday. "Now we have to get to work," she said, to which commission Co-Chairman Allen Anderson of Pocatello added, "Yes, we do."

Said Co-Chairman Evan Frasure of Pocatello, "We almost tripled the amount of public hearings that they did 10 years ago, and I'll tell you what, it has been kind of grueling at times, but the public input has been so critical in this process." He said, "Our guidance is that we're not looking at drawing these lines to protect any incumbents or political parties, and that's a hard thing to do, because this is not a nonpartisan commission, it is a bipartisan commission - you do have three Democrats and three Republicans. ... It's been an absolute pleasure getting to know all the commissioners. ... I think we have an excellent chance of getting this thing wrapped up rapidly without all the drama that you normally see."

The commission will meet from 1:30-4:30 p.m. on Thursday in the Capitol Auditorium, and will first take up citizen-submitted congressional district plans. You can watch live online here. Additional meetings are scheduled Friday, Monday, Tuesday, and July 25-27; there's more info here.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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