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Deadlocked Montana commission advances two proposed congressional district maps

Proposed Montana congressional district maps cp10 and cp11
The two proposed Montana congressional district maps.

The commission in charge of drawing Montana’s new political boundaries remains stuck in a deadlock over how to split the state into two congressional districts.

The bipartisan Districting and Apportionment Commission failed to find consensus Thursday. Instead of putting forth a single map for consideration as planned, they advanced two.

Still, commissioners are getting closer to the finish line after whittling down from nine options.

“I think both of these maps have some really good concession on both sides on these, and I would be interested in getting public comment on both of these maps,” said Attorney Maylinn Smith, the commission’s nonpartisan chair.

Both options create east-west districts. The Republicans’ option would put Lewis and Clark County in with eastern Montana. Democrats would keep that county in the west, and in turn, carve out Kalispell into the eastern district.

Democrats say the Republicans’ map will unduly favor the GOP in future elections. Republicans say the Democrats’ map fails to keep the districts compact.

The commission will meet again Saturday, Oct. 30. Smith says she will use her tie-breaking vote to pick a map if the commission can’t agree on one option.

Montanans can comment on the maps at

Copyright 2021 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

Shaylee is a UM Journalism School student. She reports and helps produce Montana Evening News on MTPR.