What is Redistricting?
The United States Constitution requires a count of the U.S. population every 10 years, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. Based on the population data collected by the census, Kansas is required to draw new boundaries for its U.S. House of Representatives, State Board of Education, State House, and State Senate districts to ensure population numbers are similar across districts. These maps reflect the new district boundaries and are based on changes in population across the state.
Who Draws and Approves the Maps?
It is the responsibility of the Kansas legislature to draw new maps. Following passage in both chambers, the new boundaries must then be approved by the Governor. If the Governor vetoes the maps, the legislature must override the Governor’s veto or redraw the maps.
Earlier this year the Kansas legislature approved a new map for the state’s Congressional Districts. Several lawsuits were filed and were consolidated in Wyandotte County District Court. Following a trial, the court ordered the legislature to draft a new congressional map. This order is being appealed by the Kansas Attorney General and is now under review at the Kansas Supreme Court. The Court will hold oral argument on May 16, 2022. Since state law provides the timeframe by which a map must be in place, the filing deadline for Congressional offices will be June 10, 2022 at 12:00 p.m.
State Legislative Maps
In April, the Governor approved the redistricting maps, drawn by the Kansas legislature, for the Kansas House of Representatives, the Kansas Senate, and the Kansas Board of Education. Pursuant to Article X of the Kansas Constitution, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt filed a petition with the Kansas Supreme Court seeking approval.
On May 16, 2022, the Kansas Supreme Court will hold oral arguments on the legislative maps. Therefore, pursuant to K.S.A. 25-205(h) the filing deadline for the Kansas House of Representatives and Kansas Board of Education will be pushed back to June 10, 2022 by 12:00 p.m.
Filing for Office
Districts without map changes still have a deadline of June 1, 2022 by 12:00 p.m. and districts with map changes (shown above) have a deadline of June 10, 2022 by 12:00 p.m.
Until the state legislatives maps are accepted by the Kansas Supreme Court, the maps have no legal existence. In the meantime, candidates can file in their current numbered district. Once the map is final, then candidates can change the district number of their filing, no additional charge.
Q & A
Q: When will I know if my district or polling place has changed?
A: Voters will receive a notice from their county election office by mail.
Q: How does redistricting affect my voting precinct?
A: If a new district line splits an existing precinct, then the precinct must also be split. Each precinct can have only a single ballot style.
Q: Who is responsible for drawing precinct lines?
Q: How will I know when to file?
A: K.S.A. 25-205 specifies two filing deadlines: June 1, 2022 is the default filing deadline, which can be extended to June 10, 2022 if maps are not final by May 10, 2022.