Maine's Legislative Maps Have Changed
Back in August, we learned from the U.S. Census results that Maine’s population grew by 34,000 people, primarily concentrated in the southern part of the state. A bipartisan advisory committee used this information to redraw the state’s legislative districts, a process that takes place every ten years. The Legislature and Governor Mills approved the new maps last Wednesday without too much fuss, making Maine the second state to finish its redistricting process. Here’s what’s changed:
54,000 Mainers have switched Congressional Districts.
13 towns in the Kennebec region, including Augusta, Chelsea, Farmingdale, Hallowell, Manchester, Readfield, and Winthrop, will move from the 1st Congressional District to the 2nd. Meanwhile, Albion, Benton, Clinton, Litchfield, Unity township, and West Gardiner will move from the 2nd District to the 1st. After a great deal of negotiating, Waterville will remain in the 1st Congressional District.
Bangor Daily News has a more detailed map you can search to find your town’s Congressional District.
Borders have shifted in Maine Senate Districts.
District 18, which covers Oxford County, has expanded to include part of northern Franklin County. District 17, meanwhile, now covers the rest of Franklin County and parts of Somerset County. Senate District 1 has also grown by nearly 4,000 people, with Chapman and Fort Fairfield shifting out of District 2. Though we still have 35 Senate Districts, newly drawn lines have essentially created a new district in the southwestern part of the state.
Click here to see the new State Senate map as it compares to the current map.
Population growth divides towns on the House map.
Significant population growth in the southern part of the state has resulted in some towns splitting into multiple House Districts. Topsham is now divided between two districts, while Westbrook now encompasses three districts. Freeport, meanwhile, has become the sole town in its district.
Perhaps most important is that the district numbers have changed drastically. For example, Freeport’s district number, once 48, is now 102. Check the Bangor Daily News for a map of the new House districts.
Maine was fortunate to have a relatively smooth approval process for redistricting in the Legislature, without having to get the State Supreme Court involved. And thanks to the requirement that two-thirds of each chamber must approve the new maps, we steered clear of the partisan gerrymandering that plagues other states.
Senate President Troy Jackson wrote in a joint statement with leaders of both parties, “It is because we believe Maine people deserve better than partisan fighting and political games when it comes to making sure they have a voice in the decisions that affect their lives.”
The new Legislative and Congressional Districts will take effect in 2022.