Madisonville’s Ben Wade files Alternative Redistricting Map
Representative Ben Waide, R-Madisonville (10th District) announced today he is filing an alternative redistricting map for the Kentucky House of Representatives. Rep. Waide’s plan was introduced during today’s session of the full House.
“It is my belief that this plan is the most fair and balanced of any of the redistricting plans offered in this session,” Rep. Waide said. “Many Kentuckians, despite their political beliefs, are up in arms over the blatant partisan nature of redistricting during this session. They want their voices heard in this process, which is why I decided to offer up an alternative.”
Under Rep. Waide’s proposal, only 24 counties are split and only 10 precincts are split compared to 28 counties split and 246 split precincts under the plan put forth by House Democrats and passed under House Bill 1. Rep. Waide’s plan only pairs 10 incumbent House members compared to 11; two pairs of Democrats would run against each other, two pairs of Democrats and Republicans would run against each other and one pairing where a Republican would run against a Republican.
“In the current redistricting proposals, each is weighted heavily in favor of Democrats or Republicans, which has created confusion and anger among Kentuckians,” added Rep. Waide. “Every effort was made in my plan to not place House incumbents against one another regardless of party.”
Under the law for House and Senate redistricting, the population of a district can be plus or minus 5 percent of the population, which for House districts is 43,394. Under Rep. Waide’s proposal, the population variance is plus 4.67 percent and negative 2.92 percent for a total of 7.58 percent. In the House Democrats plan their population variance was plus 5.38 percent and minus 4.62 percent for a total of 10 percent. Rep. Waide believes the House Democrats variance of plus 5.38 percent is outside the bounds of the Kentucky Constitution, and thinks it would not stand up to a challenge in court.
“Our plan proves that you only need to divide 24 counties instead of 28. This alone shows the House Democrat plan is unconstitutional,” Rep. Waide said. “In addition the cost to local counties whose precincts have been split is enormous. In Boone County alone the cost of stand up booths, signage and poll workers will exceed $90,000. My bill seeks to keep as many counties whole as possible, and keep as many people with their current representative as possible regardless of politics.”
Rep. Joe Fischer, R-Fort Thomas is the primary co-sponsor of Rep. Waide’s proposal.