Democrats offer case in challenging GOP-drawn district maps

April 6, 2022 GMT

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s new Republican-drawn legislative maps all but “guarantee” GOP victories in an outsized number of state House districts, a Democratic operative said during his party’s legal challenge of the legislature’s redistricting work.

The state Democratic Party is challenging new boundaries for the Kentucky House and the state’s six congressional districts. The party claims the redrawn maps present an “extreme partisan gerrymander” and excessively split counties, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

“By being able to dilute the Democratic votes in certain areas, it makes it so that the next election is guaranteed,” Kentucky Democratic Party Political Director Trey Hieneman said. “It dissuades candidates from wanting to run in a district where the results are predetermined.”

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Attorneys with the state said the map wasn’t unfair to Democrats and followed all the rules set out in Kentucky’s Constitution. An analysis backing the Democrats’ point of view is flawed, they said.

Associate Attorney General Victor Maddox pointed out that in many areas, counties previously split up were made more whole in the new map.

Both sides presented their case during hearings this week in Franklin County Circuit Court. The case is assigned to Judge Thomas Wingate, who has acknowledged that the challenge, regardless of his ruling, is likely to end up in the Kentucky Supreme Court.