ELLSWORTH – A state commission has completed its work of debate and negotiation on electoral redistribution in Maine. All that remains is for the legislature to approve the new cards.
Lawmakers met in a special session on Wednesday.
“Unlike many other states, Maine requires a two-thirds vote to approve redistribution,” noted State Senator Louie Luchini (D-Hancock County). “In my opinion, this is a positive step to prevent the gerrymandering of the party line. “
Republicans and Democrats have worked with the recommendations of the Allocation Commission and state redistribution law to come up with new districts for the House and Senate.
The redistribution is done every 10 years based on the latest U.S. Census figures, and several towns in Hancock County have moved to new districts based on the county’s population growth over the past decade.
“Because Washington County’s population has declined, this district will have more towns in eastern Hancock County,” Luchini noted.
Senate District 6 was assigned to Hancock County, where it previously included all cities in Washington County except Sullivan and Gouldsboro. In 2022, Senate District 6 will include Amherst, Aurora, Eastbrook, Franklin, Gouldsboro, Great Pond, Hancock, Mariaville, Osborn, Sorrento, Sullivan, Waltham, Winter Harbor and the unorganized territories of Central Hancock, East Hancock, and Northwest Hancock. These towns, with the exception of Sullivan and Gouldsboro, will be leaving current District 7.
New District 7 adds Isle au Haut, County Knox, and Castine to the towns of Blue Hill, Brooklin, Brooksville, Cranberry Isles, Deer Isle, Ellsworth, Frenchboro, Lamoine, Marshall Island Unorganized Territories, Mount Desert, Orland, Penobscot , Sedgwick, Southwest Harbor, Stonington, Surry, Swan’s Island, Tremont, Trenton and Verona Island.
Bucksport was moved from District 8 to Senate District 10 with the former District 8 towns of Dedham and Eddington, as well as nine towns in Penobscot County, including Brewer, Hampden and Holden. The former town of District 8, Great Pond and the unorganized territory of northwest Hancock ended up in District 6, and Penobscot and the island of Verona landed in District 7.
The districts of the State House have also been redesigned.
“When they start to create the districts, they start with the north and the south of the state, to begin with,” said state representative Sherman Hutchins (R-Penobscot). “The closer you get to the middle of the state, the more complicated it becomes. “
He pointed to the “fairly strict guidelines” used to create viable districts, such as about 9,000 residents, neighboring towns and, unofficially, not to create a district where two incumbents should stand in a primary election.
“I don’t expect there to be a lot of arguments about the districts,” Hutchins said. “This [apportionment] commission worked on it all summer, with the help of several people.
But House District 132 representative Nicole Grohoski, representing Ellsworth and Trenton, which would be divided into separate districts according to the proposed map, plans to raise concerns from her constituents during Wednesday’s legislative session.
“In the proposed map, Trenton has been separated from its communities of interest on the mainland and MDI,” she told The American. “Many Trenton residents have expressed their concerns to me and I will represent their concerns in the House as a whole.”
Districts of houses 131st legislature
11 – Addison, Beals, Columbia, Columbia Falls, Harrington, Jonesboro, Jonesport, Machias, Milbridge, Roque Bluffs, Whitneyville, part of the unorganized territory of North Washington
12 – Franklin, Gouldsboro, Hancock, Sorrento, Winter Harbor, Cherryfield, Steuben
13 – Ellsworth and Waltham
14 – Bar Harbor, Lamoine, Mount Desert, Cranberry Isles
15 – Brooklin, Deer Isle, Frenchboro, Southwest Harbor, Stonington, Swan’s Island, Tremont, Isle au Haut, Vinalhaven
16 – Blue Hill, Brooksville, Castine, Sedgwick, Surry, Trenton
17 – Bucksport, Orland, Penobscot, Island of Verona
18 – Amherst, Aurora, Dedham, Eastbrook, Great Pond, Mariaville, Osborn, Otis, Sullivan, Beddington, Deblois, part of the unorganized territory of North Washington, Burlington, Clifton, East Central Penobscot, Greenbush, Lowell, Passadumkeag.