Eye On Boise

TUESDAY, JUNE 7, 2011, 8:33 A.M.

When a third could elect a majority…

Before U.S. Supreme Court decisions in the early 1960s required states to divide their legislative districts by population, rather than just by county lines, most states had districts that allowed just a small minority of the state's population to elect a majority of the state Legislature, BSU political scientist Gary Moncrief told the Idaho redistricting commission this morning. In 1962, 32.7 percent of Idaho's population could elect a majority of the Legislature. In 1966, after the court decisions, it took 46.7 percent of Idaho's population to elect a majority of the Legislature. The figure is still slightly below 50 percent, as it is in most states, Moncrief said; that's because states are permitted to use county lines as a factor in redistricting, though population - the one-person, one-vote rule - is the overriding factor.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Russell covers Idaho news from the state capitol in Boise and writes the Eye on Boise blog.

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