Gerrymandering Forum Planned For Lexington

Oct 2, 2017

Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will take up the issue of partisan gerrymandering for the first time in more than a decade. On the same day, a forum in Lexington will examine how the legislative map-making affects the commonwealth.

Just hours after the high court begins to hear an appeal over electoral districts in Wisconsin, the League of Women Voters of Kentucky intends to launch a community conversation. The question: “whether we are choosing our legislators or our legislators are choosing us.”

Moderator Cindy Heine says the League is also assembling a report.

"We are going to be sharing some information that we have found, some kind of crazy-looking districts, and talk about them," she says.

The discussion featuring two invited state lawmakers – Republican Sen. Albert Robinson and Democratic Rep. James Kay – comes as a new Supreme Court decision could set formal guidelines on what constitutes unlawful gerrymandering.

"If you look at states like Wisconsin that have a pretty serious problem with gerrymandering, we certainly don't want that kind of thing to happen in Kentucky," Heine adds.

In a 2014 Washington Post map, a cluster of gerrymandered districts can be seen in the commonwealth, concentrated in the western portion of the state. News site rantt.com ranked Kentucky among the 10 most gerrymandered states in the country.

The forum runs from 6:30 to 8 Tuesday evening in the Lexington Public Library’s Farish Theater. The League also plans to stream the event on Facebook.