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Dayton wants movement on redistricting bills; GOP says not to worry

The census numbers came in last month and there are redistricting bills floating around the Capitol, but Gov.

The census numbers came in last month and there are redistricting bills floating around the Capitol, but Gov. Mark Dayton reminded GOP leaders that times a-wastin’.

And he wants them to be sure that the process is fair, open and representative.

In a letter to Republican state Rep. Sarah Anderson, chair of the House Redistricting Committee, he says that 10 years ago, the House bill outlining the principles for redistricting was passed by May 1. He seemed concerned that with only four weeks left in the session, time is getting tight.

Anderson replied: No worries.

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Dayton’s letter said the bills introduced so far seem to lack “Minnesota’s traditional districting principles,” including assurances that the process will:

  • Achieve the smallest deviation possible to ensure every citizen has an equal voice in electing their representatives
  • Provide for fair representations of racial and language minorities
  • Minimize dividing counties, cities and towns
  • Preserves communities of interest
  • Not be drawn for the purpose of protecting or defeating an incumbent.

He said the plan should be posted on the web before a vote is taken and that DFLers should be part of the process.

“If those principles and conditions are to be met, I look forward to participating with you and all the members of your committee,” he said in the letter.

Soon after getting the letter, Anderson replied:

“Our redistricting principles match the majority of those cited in the Governor’s letter. Our redistricting bill was introduced following an open, transparent process that to date has included public hearings in 3 important regional centers, visits with minority groups, community leaders, 13 committee meetings, and four months of public input.

“We are exercising due diligence in performing our constitutional duty of creating a fair, representative map for all Minnesotans.”