Missouri governor OKs new US House map favoring Republicans

May 18, 2022, 2:23 AM | Updated: 3:05 pm
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson speaks to reporters after signing legislation redrawing the state's congr...

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson speaks to reporters after signing legislation redrawing the state's congressional districts on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, at the state Capitol in Jefferson City, Mo. The new map, to be used in this year's elections, is expected to shore up Republicans' 6-2 advantage over Democrats in the state's U.S. House delegation. (AP Photo/David A. Lieb)

(AP Photo/David A. Lieb)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed new U.S. House districts into law Wednesday that are expected to shore up Republican strength in the state’s most competitive congressional district ahead of this year’s elections.

The new voting districts took effect immediately, meaning they will be place for the Aug. 2 primary. But local election authorities will have to scramble to make the behind-the-scenes changes necessary for absentee ballots to be available by next month.

Parson’s signature on the redistricting legislation capped a rocky process that revealed deep schisms between Republican leaders in the state House and Senate and some conservative GOP lawmakers, who had pushed to more aggressively gerrymander districts to the GOP’s favor. That map that ultimately passed is expected to continue Republicans’ decade-long 6-2 advantage over Democrats in the state’s congressional delegation.

“I think a 6-2 map is fair to the people of Missouri,” said Parson, a Republican. “I think a majority of legislators feel that way, and that’s the way democracy works.”

Parson had generally stayed out of the redistricting fray, unlike Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and some other chief executives who took a more active role in the once-a-decade process.

Missouri is one of the final few states to enact a congressional redistricting plan based on the 2020 census. New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu has yet to sign a redistricting plan, and court challenges have upended maps originally adopted in Florida and New York.

Redistricting could have significant political implications as Republicans attempt to wrest control of the U.S. House from Democrats in the midterm elections. In many states, parties in charge have tried to draw districts that maximize their voting strength while limiting their opponents’ opportunities for victories.

In Missouri, some conservative Republicans had wanted to split Kansas City’s Democratic-leaning voters among multiple districts to give the GOP a shot at winning seven seats. But GOP legislative leaders feared that could backfire both at the ballot box and in court — spreading Republican voters too thin and opening the state to lawsuits alleging violations of constitutional voting rights.

The map that became law is expected to continue the current political representation while boosting Republican support in the 2nd District in suburban St. Louis, held by Republican Rep. Ann Wagner. The plan strengthens the Republican vote share there by 3 percentage points over the former districts, according to an analysis by legislative staff that focused on top-of-the-ticket election results from 2016-2020.

Republican voting strength is expected to be reduced by a similar margin in the nearby 3rd District, which wraps around the St. Louis area and extends westward to central Missouri. But the GOP still holds a sizable advantage there.

Because Missouri took so long to adopt a new congressional map, Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft had warned that some local election officials may not have enough time to accurately adjust everyone’s voting addresses before primary ballots must be ready for military and overseas voters on June 17. As a result, he said it’s possible that some voters could be given the wrong ballots.

Assuming that Parson would sign the redistricting legislation, Ashcroft’s office provided access last Friday to geographical shape files for the new districts so that election officials could get started on their work.

One of the areas having to make adjustments is Boone County, home of the University of Missouri and the state’s fourth largest city of Columbia. Boone County Clerk Brianna Lennon said she already was working Wednesday on reassigning street addresses to the new districts. She expects that task to be completed by a May 24 deadline.

But “we don’t have adequate time to go through and do as much inspection work as we would like to,” Lennon said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


File - People shop at an Apple store in the Westfield Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus, New Jerse...
Associated Press

A key inflation gauge tracked by the Fed slowed in February

The Federal Reserve's favored inflation gauge slowed sharply last month, an encouraging sign in the Fed's yearlong effort to cool price pressures through steadily higher interest rates.
2 days ago
FILE - The OpenAI logo is seen on a mobile phone in front of a computer screen displaying output fr...
Associated Press

Musk, scientists call for halt to AI race sparked by ChatGPT

Are tech companies moving too fast in rolling out powerful artificial intelligence technology that could one day outsmart humans?
3 days ago
Associated Press

Starbucks leader grilled by Senate over anti-union actions

Longtime Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz faced sharp questioning Wednesday before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee
4 days ago
FILE - The overdose-reversal drug Narcan is displayed during training for employees of the Public H...
Associated Press

FDA approves over-the-counter Narcan; here’s what it means

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved selling naloxone without a prescription, the first over-the-counter opioid treatment.
4 days ago
FILE - A Seattle police officer walks past tents used by people experiencing homelessness, March 11...
Associated Press

Seattle, feds seek to end most oversight of city’s police

  SEATTLE (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department and Seattle officials asked a judge Tuesday to end most federal oversight of the city’s police department, saying its sustained, decade-long reform efforts are a model for other cities whose law enforcement agencies face federal civil rights investigations. Seattle has overhauled virtually all aspects of its police […]
5 days ago
capital gains tax budgets...
Associated Press

Washington moves to end child sex abuse lawsuit time limits

People who were sexually abused as children in Washington state may soon be able to bring lawsuits against the state, schools or other institutions for failing to stop the abuse, no matter when it happened.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.
Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.
SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!
safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Missouri governor OKs new US House map favoring Republicans