Maine’s redistricting panel will met again Wednesday although the data needed to draw maps remain more than a month away. The 15-member commission is waiting on a decision from the Maine Supreme Judicial Court as to whether and how it can proceed with the congressional and legislative reapportionment process when the U.S. Census Bureau releases the necessary data in mid-August.

Maine faces a time crunch with its redistricting process, as pandemic-related census delays meant the data necessary to draw new districts were not available in time for a constitutional deadline last month. Lawmakers have been united so far in asking the court for more time so the responsibility stays with the Legislature and is not kicked to the courts.

Other states have taken different approaches when faced with the same problem. The Democratic-led Legislature in Illinois approved state legislative maps last month that were drawn using population estimates from the American Community Survey. Illinois Republicans, however, filed a lawsuit arguing the use of estimates was “discriminatory” and calling for more input into the redistricting process. (Unlike Maine, Illinois law does not require maps to be drawn on an independent or bipartisan basis.)

In Colorado, which faces a more complicated apportionment process than Maine as it gained a congressional district this cycle, members of the state’s independent commission have sought public feedback on preliminary maps that were drafted using population estimates. But commission members acknowledged that the maps are preliminary and would need to be adjusted when the final census data are released

Megan Diver

Megan has worked in Maine politics for more than ten years and all of her professional career, having served in many roles for elected officials (including former Secretary of State Charlie Summers), in-house with the Maine Association of REALTORS®, legislative specialist at Pierce Atwood LLP providing lobbying services and support to Pierce Atwood’s government relations clients and most recently senior government relations specialist at the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. Megan currently is the Vice President at the Maine Energy Marketers Association, utilizing her vast knowledge and legislative experience at the State House to represent MEMA on policies relating to the Association and its members.