Every 10 years, districts for Congress, state legislature, state school board, and local offices must be redrawn based on the latest Census. The 2020 Census numbers were recently released and we already know one thing: there will no longer be a KC-area district that incorporates all of Johnson and Wyandotte Counties.

Here in Kansas, the Kansas City-area Third District has once again gained population, while the rural “Big First” has lost people. The Third must shed people and the Big First must gain them, all shuffled through the Second District, which lies in between and has also lost population. All districts to be of nearly equal population, with only 0.5% allowable variation. Removing the small piece of Miami County (Louisburg) currently in the Third will not be enough. All or part of the other two counties must be moved as well. This will not be popular among supporters of Rep. Sharice Davids, who fear a Republican gerrymander to break up that district’s Democratic majority. In fact, former Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle advocates this.

For this column, I drew a number of hypothetical districts using Dave’s Redistricting, an online app that makes it possible for anyone with a computer and some free time to draw their own districts. It is free, but users are encouraged to make voluntary contributions. I have no financial interest in the project. The maps I made can be viewed on my blog: moksline.blogspot.com and I also did this for Missouri.

For my own proposed map, I ended up doing what was once considered unthinkable in Kansas politics — I split Johnson County. I tried splitting Wyandotte County, but to rebalance population that way would require me to split the city of Kansas City in half, whereas the people of most communities prefer to remain “whole” within a single district. By splitting Johnson County instead, I was able to keep all cities in the county whole. I moved the outlying, exurban communities of DeSoto, Gardner, Edgerton, and Spring Hill into the 2nd District along with rural, unincorporated parts of the county. The rest of Johnson County I kept together with Kansas City in the Third.

If Kansas Republicans do seek to gerrymander Wyandotte County, they will not put it in the adjoining Second District. The Second already includes Lawrence and Topeka, so adding Kansas City would make that a Democratic-majority district. Instead, a GOP gerrymander would have to bring the Big First all the way to the Missouri line, wrapping around the Second and reaching down to put Kansas City in the same district as rural, western Kansas. The current Third District is not a majority-minority district but it does have plenty of diversity. If it is broken up in this way, court challenges are possible. The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to intervene in cases of partisan gerrymandering but kept open the door to those involving racial gerrymandering--particularly when they dilute votes from people of color.

Keeping several outlying communities in Johnson County whole while moving them into the Second District avoids these difficulties. It also prevents an ungainly, Missouri-to-Colorado Big First. Readers are encouraged not to take my word for it. Try Dave’s for yourself and draw your own, proposed districts. Ultimately, the Kansas Legislature will draw the final maps — unless they deadlock and let the courts resolve it again. In the meantime, Kansas already has three Republican-majority districts. Can they resist the temptation to get greedy for more?

(12) comments

Elrod

Best president in the 2020s 🤔let me think about that, not much to compare him with. To bad in a couple of years he won’t even remember he was president. 🤷‍♂️

Elrod

The same can be said about democratic’s. I’m saying all Politicians will lie in some form. They say they do it for their constituents which is their excuse for lying.

Elrod

Justice 81 your statements about every Republican are liars is proof of your making up lies. Yes I would agree there are plenty of politicians both sides who lie so they can fulfill their agendas. And on the top of that list is Trump, and many others on the Republican side. But there are plenty of Democrats who are proven liars, starting with the Clintons, or present president, and the former governor of New York Cuomo. Most politicians cannot be trusted which is why were in the situation were in. Making blanket statements like you have about Republicans it’s also the reason why were in this situation. You can’t watch the present news channels like Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, and get any facts from them.

So we are statements that you make are not factual, you were just part of the problem. What you post is doing anyone any good.

Justice81

OK, 1 per cent of Republicans Don't Lie. NEARLY EVERY REPUBLICAN POLITICAL LIES, AND LIES PROFUSELY!!!!!!!

Elrod

Justice 81, you’re full of BS. Talk about making up stories.

Justice81

I don't make up anything. Every word I write is Total Truth, right down to the last letter and period. Every word Republicans Write is a Total Lie! And, You KNOW IT!

Justice81

I only speak, write, IN FACTS! You are WRONGER THAN WRONG!

MWS

If the Republicans to get greedy you can certainly see why. The Biden Administration just let in 1.5M immigrants from a dozen countries across the southern boarder (many are criminals, felons, gangsters,drug smugglers & human traffickers). They are being bused to major cities in the U.S. Most of them are being dropped off in red states. The KC area will be getting loads of them. 1.5M is more than the entire population of many Midwest states. The Democrats want to use them as flip votes to rig all future elections. Biden will use all the new Afghan refugees to flip all the northern and NE states. Many of our new "citizens" will join terror cells and over the next 10 years many Americans will lose their lives. Many of the refugees hate us because we abandoned their families and armed the Taliban. The political future of the U.S. is about to change significantly.

Justice81

Well, Republicans Steal Everything they can. Fair? Republicans don't have FAIR CELL in their bodies. Wish all would be sent to Kansas!!!!

Justice81

Hey, The Republicans PACKED THE SUPREME COURT! Your "Honorable Christian" Republican Senators said in 2016, when there was an opening on the Supreme Court, that the Appointment should be made by the President Elected in that Fall's Election. They were Resounding with that. Well the opening was 7-8 or so months BEFORE the November Election. Now, "Fast Forward" to 2020, when less than 3 months BEFORE the election there was another opening on the Court. Well, this time, Your Lying Christian Republicans said the appointment should be filled, not waiting until AFTER the Election. Question MWS, Your Choice: Were your Christian Republican Senators LYING in 2016 or 2020. And your Republican Senators are ALL CHRISTIANS! Well, Facts are Facts, Your Republican Senators are NOT CHRISTIAN IN ANY SENSE OF THE WORD! They LIED BOTH TIMES. So, if Biden is sending people to vote Democrat, I am all for him! Your Republicans are nothing but flat out Liars!

Justice81

Next to the Taliban and Isis the current American Republicans are, by far, the Worst People In the world! Republicans are now wanting the Slave Owners of way back, COMPENSATED FOR LOSING THEIR SLAVES!

Justice81

Biden has already become the BEST PRESIDENT in the 2020's!!!!

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