Senate releases final map proposal ahead of Nov. 1 redistricting vote

Delaware State News
Posted 10/25/21

DOVER – The Delaware State Senate Monday published its final proposed Senate maps in advance of a Nov. 1 special session for the purpose of approving new legislative districts based on the …

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Senate releases final map proposal ahead of Nov. 1 redistricting vote

Posted

DOVER – The Delaware State Senate published its final proposed Senate maps Monday in advance of a Nov. 1 special session for the purpose of approving new legislative districts based on the decennial U.S. Census data.

The Senate maps include several changes from the initial drafts published on Oct. 11. Those changes are reflective of suggestions made by Delawareans during the public comment period, according to a press release from Scott Goss, communications director, for the Delaware State Senate Majority Caucus

Changes include:

• Reuniting Slaughter Beach with Milford as a community of interest in Senate District 18.

• Moving Wilmington’s Midtown Brandywine community to Senate District 1 from Senate District 3 and ensuring a neighborhood known as The Flats is fully contained within Senate District 3.

• Alterations to Kent and Sussex County Senate Districts to ensure some of the faster growing districts in the state are closer to the average population figure for Senate Districts.

“While this year’s redistricting process certainly has been intensive, it has also been open, transparent, and collaborative,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Dave Sokola, D-Newark. “We took input from the public to heart and seriously considered every recommendation. We also engaged our colleagues from across the aisle at every turn. The result is a set of fair maps that the League of Women Voters in its own public testimony acknowledge score highly in third-party evaluations. I call on my colleagues to support these maps next week.”

To view the proposed final district maps, visit here.

The Senate held three public hearings to solicit feedback on the proposed maps and the redistricting process itself, receiving a total of 99 public comments.

Everyone who submitted written comment received a reply from Senate staff and all comments were carefully considered by the redistricting team. The submissions also prompted the team to revisit all of Delaware’s communities of interest to ensure as many as possible were kept as intact as possible within individual districts, according to the press release issued Monday.

Every 10 years, states must redraw their legislative districts based on the most recent federal Census data. This redistricting process requires the General Assembly to follow the standards established by law.

There are numerous criteria considered in drawing Senate Districts, including: 1) maintaining majority-minority districts; 2) contiguity of territory; 3) compactness of districts; 4) achieving near equality in population; 5) not creating districts to unduly favor any person or political party; 6) preserving communities of interest; 7) preserving the cores of prior districts; and 8) boundaries such as major roads, streams, and other natural boundaries.

This year’s redistricting process was delayed due to the U.S. Census Bureau’s late reporting of population data to the states. Final population data was received from the Census Bureau in late September. Data is typically released in the spring.

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