PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — After the Oregon legislature did their job and passed congressional redistricting plans to include a new, 6th congressional district, Gov. Kate Brown signed the bills late Monday afternoon.
“For the first time in 40 years, Oregon is gaining a congressional seat––another member to advocate for the common good of all Oregonians. I just signed the redistricting bills passed by the Legislature today. Thank you to everyone who came together to get this done for Oregon,” the governor tweeted.
The process didn’t come without its challenges and accusations of partisan gerrymandering.
Oregon state Republican lawmakers showed up for work Monday in the Capitol, resulting in a quorum to vote on the proposed map for redrawing the state’s congressional districts.
The Oregon House of Representatives voted to advance the congressional redistricting plan Monday. The vote on the new congressional maps was twice delayed last week, once because of a case of COVID-19 and once because GOP leaders boycotted the session.
The change in GOP strategy came after many of its members did not come to the chamber Saturday, denying majority Democrats a quorum over the weekend. House Speaker Tina Kotek adjourned that session and imposed a 9:30 a.m. Monday deadline.
Oregon grew from 5 districts to 6 because of population growth confirmed in the 2020 census. But Democrats and Republicans feel very differently about where that 6th district should be drawn.
Republicans in the afternoon session said the new maps “makes it non-competitive” and called it “blatant and unabashed gerrymandering.”
Democrats, though, countered the maps “are fair and are representative, in line with legal requirements and reflect the immense population growth we’ve seen in Oregon.”
Congressional plans were sent to the redistricting committee to be formally adopted when the House reconvened Monday afternoon. After discussion on the House floor, the new district map passed.
Had Republican representatives not shown up, the responsibility of redrawing congressional districts would have gone to a panel of five retired judges, and the Democratic secretary of state would have redrawn legislative districts.