SALEM, Ore. – Oregon is getting a new congressional district. The redistricting finalized all maps, as state leaders beat the clock.
Both the Oregon House and Senate have passed the proposed congressional and legislative maps. But it didn’t come without controversy. The vote Monday on new legislative and congressional district maps passed largely along party lines. Republicans have accused Democrats of gerrymandering – stacking districts with their voters to hold on to their political power. House Speaker Tina Kotek backed out of a deal granting GOP members equal say on the house redistricting committee last week. She said they weren’t approaching it in good faith.
Over the weekend, State Republicans walked out in protest saying the map is a perfect example of gerrymandering. The final versions passed Monday, reportedly moved a little in the direction of Republicans.
“To my knowledge, not one Republican voted for this. So if that’s the case since it’s so darn fair where are all the people representing the minority voting for this,” said State Sen. Fred Girod.
Even after the vote, State Republicans and even some Democrats voiced their concerns over the process of updating these maps.
While Ashland Rep. Jeff Golden voted for both redistricting maps, he said he hopes Oregon can join 14 other states having an independent commission to make the maps in the future.
Republicans said they preferred these last-day options over giving control to Secretary of State Shemia Fagan, a democrat.
Klamath County Rep. E. Werner Reschke’s district is split up in the new and approved legislative map, something he said is one way the redistricting process failed his constituents.
Gov. Kate Brown signed off on the new maps, making it official.