As required by Article III, Section 7 of the Missouri Constitution, the Judicial Redistricting Commission announces the public release of its tentative redistricting plan and map for the Missouri Senate.

The tentative plan and map are available on the Redistricting Office website atwww.oa.mo.gov/budget-planning/redistricting-office. The Judicial Redistricting Commission plans to file its redistricting plan and map with the Secretary of State on March 15, 2022.

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“The Judicial Redistricting Commission deeply appreciates the input provided by citizens during our public hearing and through the website,” Judge Cynthia L. Martin, commission chair, said. “That input was thoughtfully considered, subject to the requirements of the Missouri Constitution that Senate districts be established using methods and criteria in an order of priority.”

Those criteria include:

Dividing population as equally as practicable;
Avoiding the denial or abridgment of the right to vote on account of race or color;
Creating districts that are as contiguous and compact as practicable;
Respecting political subdivision lines to the extent possible; and
Achieving calculable standards for partisan fairness and competitiveness.

“The Judicial Redistricting Commission’s work has been thorough and labor intensive, and was purposefully undertaken with the goal to file a constitutionally compliant plan and map well in advance of the commission’s constitutional deadline to avoid disenfranchising voters given the candidate filing deadline and the deadline for preparing ballots,” Martin said.

The members of the Judicial Redistricting Commission are Missouri appellate judges and were appointed by the Supreme Court of Missouri pursuant to the constitution.

In addition to Martin, the members are Judge Thomas N. Chapman, Judge Michael E. Gardner, Judge Gary W. Lynch (vice chair), Judge Angela Turner Quigless, and Judge Mary W. Sheffield.

According to the AP, the map would take effect for this year's elections and be used for the following decade. The judicial panel took over redistricting after a bipartisan commission failed to agree on maps.

Because no new map had been adopted yet, candidates so far have been filing for office under the districts drawn after the 2010 census. But they could have a chance to file, based only new proposed districts before the filing period ends March 29.

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A lawsuit filed on behalf of Missouri voters is asking a court to intervene in the state's stalled redistricting process and draw a new U.S. House map.

The lawsuit filed by Democratic attorneys contends it would be unconstitutional to use the districts drawn after the 2010 census because populations changed substantially in the 2020 census.

A proposed new map passed the Missouri House in January but has stalled in the Senate.

Missouri, Florida and New Hampshire are among the few states that have yet to adopt new congressional districts. Missouri candidates have begun filing for office, despite the uncertainty.