Well, word is beginning to spread at the Capitol that the 2012 redistricting battle may be about to begin....
That means this year's Legislature will take up the task of drawing the new lines. Several questions remain:
- How many maps will be offered in each chamber? Will we see a split in the Senate like we did last year? And will there be an effort to offer multiple maps in the House?
- Will the plan offered by House Republicans look like the One Percent Plan Speaker Gunn promoted last year?
- Will the Senate Reapportionment Committee plan look like the one it passed last year? Considering that Elections Committee Chairman Sen. Chris McDaniel (R - Ellisville) was involved in the effort to promote the Bryant plan last time around, my guess is no.
- Most importantly, will there be legislative elections under new maps in November? The federal court left that matter unresolved, and therefore a realistic possibility.
I have three expectations. First, we'll see several maps offered in each chamber. Second, that Republicans will attempt to further divide the parties along racial lines by drawing out white Democrats. Third, the whole process will be wild, but not as wild as last year. (Entire books could be written on what went down in the Great Redistricting Battle of 2011.)
For reference sake, here are the maps from last year: