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Eye On Boise

Tue., Sept. 6, 2011, 4:01 p.m.

Redistricters miss deadline

The hour has arrived, and Idaho's bipartisan citizen redistricting commission has missed its deadline to come up with new legislative and congressional district maps, forcing the issue into the courts. Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa said he's ready to sue first thing Wednesday morning, filing a writ of mandamus with the Idaho Supreme Court. "Papers are prepared," he said. You can read my full story here at

Without new legislative and congressional district lines, Idaho has lines from 10 years ago that don't reflect the big population shifts since then - and therefore don't comply with the U.S. Constitution's one-person, one-vote rule. That means the state's current districts are unconstitutional; Ysursa said he expects the court to order the commission back to work.

Current legislative districts, after the new 2010 census, have a 96 percent variation in population, far more than permitted. Idaho's two current congressional districts now have a 14.8 percent deviation in population; new congressional districts must evenly split the state population, with virtually no deviation. "It's obviously out of sync with the Constitution," Ysursa said. "I'm confident we will have a commission plan - obviously now it looks like it will be later, rather than sooner."

Co-Chairman Evan Frasure said, "As I understand, we may get called back, we may not." He said health concerns, including a massive heart attack several years ago, may prevent him from continuing on the panel.

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Eye On Boise

Short takes and breaking news from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.