Missouri OK’s amendment on drawing districts

WASHINGTON — Missouri voters have approved a constitutional amendment making the state the first to require a specific mathematical formula for determining “partisan fairness” when drawing legislative districts.

The ballot measure approved Tuesday makes “partisan fairness” and “competitiveness” top criteria for redistricting over traditional standards such as compact and contiguous districts. It applies only to state legislative districts, not those for Congress.

Missouri was one of four states with ballot measures proposing to overhaul redistricting procedures to be used after the 2020 Census. The measures in Colorado, Michigan and Utah also were intended to decrease the likelihood of partisan gerrymandering, but none of the rest placed a specific mathematical equation into their state constitutions.

Michigan voters approved a constitutional amendment stripping the legislature and the governor of their power to draw districts for Congress and the state Legislature.

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