HELENA, Mont. – Following today’s Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission meeting, Montana Republican Party Chairman Don “K” Kaltschmidt released the following statement in response to the democrats’ clear attempts to unconstitutionally gerrymander Montana’s two congressional districts:
“Now more than ever, it’s evident that the liberals on this Commission are ignoring mandatory criteria in favor of their own goal, which is to gerrymander Montana’s congressional districts for the benefit of the Democrat party,” said Chairman Don “K” Kaltschmidt. “Every single map proposed by democrat commissioners fail to adhere to the constitutional requirement for compactness. Furthermore, the Democrats’ partisan maps disregard Montana law and their own adopted criteria that clearly state a district may not be drawn for the purposes of favoring a political party. It is extremely disappointing that the majority of the commission chose to ignore these requirements and move forward with unconstitutional and illegal congressional map proposals.”
For background, criteria for Montana’s Congressional districts include:
- Districts must be as equal in population as is practicable (Article 1, Section 2, U.S. Constitution).
- Each district shall consist of compact territory. (Article 5, Section 14 of the Montana Constitution). The Commission shall consider the district’s functional compactness in terms of travel and transportation, communication, and geography.
- Each district shall be contiguous, meaning that a district must be in one piece. (Article 5, Section 14 of the Montana Constitution). Areas that meet only at points of adjoining corners shall not be considered contiguous. Areas separated by natural geographical or artificial barriers that prevent transportation by vehicle on a maintained road shall be avoided when not in conflict with the commission’s adopted criteria and goals.
- No plan may be drawn to unduly favor a political party.