Nevada lawmakers pass maps that give Democrats an edge

The Governor of Nevada. Steve SisolakSteve Sisolak Michelle Fiore Announces Campaign for Nevada Governor Nevada Governor Sisolak Injured in Car Accident, Discharged from Hospital Democrats Prepare for Difficult Election Year in Nevada MORE (D) has enacted a redistricting measure likely to give Democrats a head start in three of Silver State’s four congressional districts over the next decade after a special session that angered both Republicans and Latino activists .

The new maps, approved in a vote close to party line Tuesday night, would divide Las Vegas, a heavily Democratic city, between three districts covering the southern half of the state. The northern half of the state is largely intact from the current district held by the Rep. Mark AmodeiMark Eugene Amodei GOP lawmakers introduce measure in support of Democratic Columbus Day poll finds Cortez Masto leads Laxalt by 4 points in Nevada Senate race Western US airports face shortages of jet fuel MORE (R).

The southern three districts are likely to favor Democratic rulers, though estimates vary, and none of the three districts is overwhelmingly blue.

The new lines are a great improvement for Rep. Susie leeSuzanne (Susie) Kelley LeeMORE (D), whose district favored President BidenJoe Biden Idaho House of Representatives Passes Workers’ Compensation Bill Biden Submits 2016 Climate Treaty to Senate for Ratification Rubio Pledges to Delay Biden’s China and Spain Ambassador Candidates MORE about the former president Donald trumpDonald Trump Biden sends 2016 climate treaty to Senate for ratification US and China ease restrictions on journalists Americans continue to spend MORE by less than 1,000 votes. Lee’s district would give up some Republican-leaning precincts in Henderson, south of Las Vegas, in exchange for a Democratic territory currently represented by Rep. On TitusAlice (Dina) Costandina Titus Democrats call on state to lift ban on embassies discussing same-sex marriage Harris to highlight drought, climate change on trip to Nevada Nevada Congressional candidate says it was ‘recruited’ to execute MORE (D).

Titus’ seat, currently the safest for Democrats in the state, would cede territory to both Lee and the Rep. Steven HorsfordSteven Alexander Horsford Abortion rights group backing 12 House Democrats Professional boxer launches campaign for Nevada Democratic seat in the United States House of Representatives Black Caucus emerges as winner in package of expenses PLUS (D), whose district extends north to the rural part of the state. Where the Titus district favored Biden by a nearly two-to-one margin in 2020, it probably would have been much closer under the new lines.

The nonpartisan Princeton Gerrymandering bill estimates that the three seats would give Democrats an advantage of about 10 percentage points. Republicans had won two of the three seats, those held by Horsford and Lee, over the past decade, and all three seats could possibly go to the Republican Party in a wave election.

Control of the state legislature is less likely to change over the next decade. The maps that will define legislative districts are likely to favor Democratic majorities in a state that has tended toward Democrats locally, even as it remains a battleground state in federal and presidential races.

“After a thoughtful, efficient and productive session, I am proud to sign these bills into law today,” Sisolak said in a statement. “These maps reflect the diversity of Nevada and reflect public comment collected throughout the legislative process.”

But some within the traditional Democratic coalition expressed concern that the maps did not go far enough to increase representation among Hispanic voters, who made up a substantial number of the 400,000 new residents Nevada added over the past decade.

The new maps “did not manage to maintain the 300,000 Latinx residents of the current CD1 [represented by Titus] together and still pit working-class Nevadans and wealthy Nevadans against each other by combining their neighborhoods into one district, ”said Emily Persaud-Zamora, executive director of Silver State Voices, a group that advocates for minority participation in elections. .

None of the four newly drawn districts is designed to give a majority to Hispanic residents.

“Redistricting happens once every ten years. If we don’t resolve disparities in representation now, we won’t be able to correct these injustices for at least another decade, ”said Persaud-Zamora. “The redistricting process should always be about the communities of interest that members of the Legislature are elected to represent, not the benefits to one party or another.”

On the floor of the legislature, Republicans made many of the same points. Only one legislator, Assemblyman Edgar Flores, a Las Vegas Democrat, broke ranks to vote against his party.

Hispanic voters make up 29 percent of Nevada’s 3.1 million residents, according to figures from the 2020 census. A decade ago, those of Hispanic origin made up 26 percent of the state’s 2.7 million residents.

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