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Sisolak will call redistricting session for Friday

Updated November 11, 2021 - 4:53 pm

CARSON CITY — The Legislature’s special session for redistricting will start at 1 p.m. Friday, the governor’s office announced.

Gov. Steve Sisolak will make the official proclamation Friday morning when state offices reopen after the Veterans Day holiday.

“Beginning on Friday, I look forward to working with members of the Nevada Legislature on this important topic,” the governor said in a statement.

“I look forward to an efficient and productive session to fulfill the constitutional obligation ensuring representation is reflective of our population according to the latest Census figures.”

The governor, in calling the special session, also determines what matters the Legislature is called to consider. Lawmakers will adopt new election districts for congressional and state legislative seats and the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents.

They will also take up a temporary adjustment to the filing period for judicial candidates to accommodate elections officials preparing for next year’s contests.

The redrawing of election districts is a once-a-decade process based on the decennial census. Nevada’s population grew by 15 percent over the last decade, also becoming more urban and less white.

Although the state constitution says “it shall be the mandatory duty of the Legislature at its first session” after the census to pass new maps, delays on the part of the federal government prevented the state from getting new numbers by the end of the regular session in late May.

Democrats hold the governor’s office and majorities in both legislative houses. Their legislative leadership released proposed new district maps on Monday.

In 2011, during the last redistricting period, then Gov. Brian Sandoval, a Republican, vetoed the Legislature’s approved maps, and a court-appointed special panel redrew the districts.

In a statement, the Assembly minority leader, Robin Titus, R-Wellington, called on the public to “pay attention and participate” in the session, citing party enrollment figures that don’t justify lopsided Democratic control of the body.

Voter registration figures from the secretary of state’s office, updated monthly, show overall party affiliation currently at 34 percent for Democrats, 30 percent for Republicans, 27 percent nonpartisan, and 9 percent for other parties.

“The increasing trend of nonpartisan voters will continue for the next decade to come,” Titus said.

“A 4 percent Democrat advantage in voter registration is not grounds for supermajorities in both chambers.”

In their statement released on Tuesday, Democratic leaders said “throughout the state, we’ve proposed compact districts that keep local communities together, including maintaining representation for rural and Northern Nevada and undoing the prior map’s splitting of tribal communities.”

Contact Capital Bureau reporter Bill Dentzer at bdentzer@reviewjournal.com. Follow @DentzerNews on Twitter.

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