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Senate delays final vote on legislative redistricting bill as county clerks try to tweak changes in political boundaries

Senate Door
Bob Beck
/
Wyoming Public Media
Wyoming Senate Door

The Wyoming Senate had to hit pause on a scheduled final vote on the state redistricting bill after county clerks across the state were forced to re-work political boundaries in several counties.

The Senate completely changed a bill that previously had been endorsed by clerks, after a majority of members objected to the idea of increasing the Senate by one and the House by two.

Sheridan Sen. Bo Biteman convinced the Senate to adopt a new plan that keeps the Senate at 30 and the House at 60. Senate Majority Leader Ogden Driskill said getting the districts properly aligned takes time and the amendment caused some upheaval.

“Literally somebody sat down with a pizza and a beer and fixed this plan overnight, brought it back to us and that’s what we have. And now we’re trying to get through third reading and hope it doesn’t have holes or mistakes in it,” said Driskill.

He said clerks normally need a week to make adjustments to legislative maps and they’re being forced to scramble.

“My heart goes out to our clerks. I very much appreciate what they’ve done for the committee and the state and now they’re left with a herculean task of making something align in 24 hours and if they make a mistake we’ll all live with it for the next ten years,” said Driskill. “So it’s difficult to say the least.”

Driskill was co-chairman of a legislative committee that had crafted the previous plan. The legislature is required to pass a new legislative redistricting bill where each district’s population is nearly the same.

Bob Beck has been News Director of Wyoming Public Radio since 1988. During his time as News Director WPR has won over 100 national, regional and state news awards.
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