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New Redistricting Process Already Under Fire in Missouri

Missouri was one of four states where voters decided last fall to take political partisanship out of the legislative mapmaking process. Now partisan politicians are moving to claw back their power.

With a 60 percent majority, the state decided in November to hand much of the pen for drawing state House and Senate districts to a newly created nonpartisan official, dubbed the state demographer, who would be required to make maps with an eye to partisan fairness and competitiveness.

But as the legislature convenes in Jefferson City this week, the leaders of the lopsided GOP majorities in the state House and Senate, as well as GOP Gov. Mike Parson, signaled support for repealing or altering the new redistricting system – perhaps with another ballot initiative later this year, St. Louis public radio reports. And they may have support from some Democrats, who see their lock on the state's mostly African-American urban areas as threatened by a less partisan mapmaking system.

Correction: This post was updated to correct the capital of Missouri.

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