Wardner: 'Straight lines' for redistricting, expanding district numbers being discussed | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Wardner: 'Straight lines' for redistricting, expanding district numbers being discussed

Feb 1, 2021

The North Dakota Legislature will meet again this fall to re-draw Legislative district boundaries, based on the results of the 2020 Census.

Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner (R-Dickinson) said before that special session, a series of public hearings will be held around the state.

"And contrary to what people think, I want straight lines, as much as possible," Wardner said in an interview. "I don't like gerrymandering."

Wardner said when the Legislature redre district lines in 2011,  ikt did a good job in making sure the lines are as straight as possible.

After the Census numbers are finalized, a committee will be appointed to work on redistricting, and the session will likely be held in November.

49 districts

Right now, the state has 47 Legislative districts. And now there’s talk of increasing that to 49 districts.

Wardner confirms the idea has been discussed. He said it would be designed to try and help rural North Dakota, where the districts are large.

"If you take a look at District 14, 23, 39, 4 -- they're huge," Wardner said.

Wardner said by adding two more districts, that could cut down the size of some of the potential big districts.

"If you do that, at least the people may have an idea who their Senator or House members are," Wardner said. "It's to help give rural districts better representation."