Lawmakers push changes to Idaho's redistricting commission

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho lawmakers have ushered in a proposal that would dramatically change the state’s independent commission in charge of drawing congressional and legislative maps every decade.

Redistricting is important because it can decide which party gets the majority of congressional and state legislative seats. It is a contentious issue nationwide.

The Senate State Affairs Committee on Monday introduced a proposal that would amend Idaho’s Constitution to change the state’s redistricting commission from six to nine members. Idaho’s legislative council would decide on the ninth commissioner.

Currently, the majority and minority party leaders in each legislative chamber select one person to serve on the commission; the state chairmen of the Republican and Democratic parties also each select a commissioner.

Constitutional amendments in Idaho require a two-third’s majority in both the GOP-dominant House and Senate and then a simple majority from voters in the general election for it to take effect.