WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Wyandotte County judge has ruled that a congressional district map is unconstitutional. It split Wyandotte County in half and puts liberal-leaning Lawrence in the conservative-leaning first district.
“It was a monumental ruling that I think every Kansas should be proud of that partisan gerrymandering will not stand in Kansas,” said Davis Hammet, President of Loud Light.
Loud Light is one of the non-profits that sued the state over the Ad Astra 2 map.
“It was so important for these to be struck down so Kansans can vote and know that their vote will actually have an impact on who gets elected, you know, the basis of a democracy which we all hope to live under,” Hammet said.
Although ruled unconstitutional by the Wyandotte judge, the case is not over yet. Attorney General Derek Schmidt is taking the case to the Kansas Supreme Court.
“Will the court also find that the map is unconstitutional? And then, more importantly, is there enough time to get a new map, or will we have to use the new map in the upcoming election?” asked Political Analyst Jeff Jarman.
The case is in a rushed timeline ahead of the upcoming election.
“People need to know what district they live in, and candidates need to know what district they need to file in and that June 1 deadline is really the pressing deadline in the state right now,” Jarman said.
Jarman says this is just the process to ensure democracy is alive for the next ten years.
“The whole point of drawing maps is to create equitable districts, and it’s a real disservice to the entire process if those if the attempt to create equitable districts is really just an engineered effort to lock in inequities,” Jarman said.
Jarman says it’s likely both voters and candidates will ping pong to different districts over the next few election cycles as this gets sorted out.