In a 32-18 vote, the Iowa Senate rejected the first set of maps redefining Iowa’s legislative and congressional districts Tuesday.
Senate File 620 was voted down, going along party lines. Republicans hold a majority in both the Iowa Senate and House. The non-partisan Legislative Services Agency, or LSA, issued a first draft of the redistricting maps in September.
Following the vote, Senate Democratic Leader Zach Wahls issued a statement, saying there was “no legitimate reason for Legislative Republicans to reject this first map. This was a fair map drawn by the nonpartisan, independent commission. It met all the requirements laid out in state law. This is an outrageous use of political power to rig elections in their favor.”
Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver, a Republican, said there’s still work to be done. “Senate Republicans believe LSA can improve the compactness and population deviation of several districts by developing a second redistricting plan,” Whitver said. “My colleagues and I look forward to reviewing that plan and its compliance with the criteria established in Iowa Code.”
Because Iowa lawmakers have rejected the first maps, the LSA has 35 days to make changes. If the second draft of the maps is also rejected, the LSA gets another 35 days to make a third revision.
The Legislative Services Agency is tasked by law with mapping Iowa’s legislative and congressional districts without political influence or unfair representation.