Republicans give arguments as hearing in redistricting lawsuit continues
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Testimony continues in a legal challenge to new Kentucky House and Congressional district maps.
Kentucky Democrats sued after the Republican majority in the General Assembly approved new maps.
The governor vetoed those maps, and then the Republican majority overruled those vetoes.
Now, attorneys representing the secretary of state and the commonwealth, those being sued, called witnesses.
Democrats claim that these maps, which state who you will vote for in Kentucky House and congressional races, are unconstitutional. They claim that Republicans drew them to get even more of a political advantage. But today, those who have made a living from studying these types of cases took the stand.
It came after Democrats called their own experts who studied political cases, algorithms, statistics, and estimations of voting patterns in districts.
Sean Trende was first up for the Commonwealth, who said he’s written books about elections and testified in other legal cases. He said he’s being paid $400 an hour to look in Kentucky’s districts, both currently and from a historical standpoint. He was on the stand for 3 hours, with most of the testimony on Kentucky’s congressional map, specifically the first district which starts in far western Kentucky, then follows the Kentucky Tennessee border then snakes up to include Franklin County.
“So, the price is if you put the residents of Franklin County in the increasing Democratic districts, it makes other districts more Republican,” said Sean Trende, Political Science Analyst and Author.
“The citizens of Franklin County were shocked when they saw this. That’s all I’m going to say about that,” said Judge Thomas Wingate.
He was talking about how Franklin Co. voters went from being represented by the sixth district to the first. Trende also says that the first district snakes the way it does to preserve the historical nature of the second district, to keep Bowling Green and Owensboro in it.
It’s not known when Judge Wingate will issue a ruling on the case, but he did say whatever he decides will be appealed to the state supreme court.
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