When does redistricting go into effect? It’s complicated…

by Bill Post

I called the Secretary of State’s office to get the explanation of when the new US Congressional districts go into effect, and when the new state legislative districts (state house & state senate districts) go into effect.

Here’s what I found out.

According to Summer in the SOS Election’s Office, the Congressional Redistricting lines (SB 990) took effect immediately upon passage.  That means that the new lines are in effect right now.

However, the Special Election to replace David Wu will not be under those new lines, as “Attorney General John Kroger has advised us that, legally, the election would be to replace a seated Congressman, which means that since Wu was elected under the old lines, those lines are in effect for any special election.”

There you go!  The Democratic Attorney General and the Democratic Secretary of State do NOT want the special election to be under the new lines, especially with a + 2-3% GOP difference from the old lines.

Next year’s 2012 elections, however, will be under the new lines.

As for the state legislative lines (SB 989), due to the passage of Measure 55, the new lines would not go into effect until January 2013.  However, the elections of 2012 WILL be under the new lines.

Confused?  So am I.

According to Summer again, the county elections’ offices had to wait until August 1st to see if there were any appeals to the redistricting law, and then they could begin updating the voter records and handbooks, etc.

So, if you are Bob and you live in Podunk, Oregon, which is House District 99 and there were an election today, you would vote under the old lines.  Next year, you would vote under the new lines and because HD 99 is across the street from you now, you may be in HD 98 so you’ll be voting for a different candidate and that candidate, should he or she win, would technically not represent you until January of 2013.

Got it?  Yeah, OK.