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Between the Lines: N.H. House Vote on Map Expected This Week

The end is near for New Hampshire mapmaking.

The Granite State could have a map for the state’s two House districts as early as this week.

The state Senate previously passed a map that was recently passed out of the state House committee overseeing redistricting. It will now be sent to the state House floor for a full vote on Wednesday.

Because the state’s two Congressmen have come to an agreement on the boundary line, the once-deadlocked process is “greenlighted,” according to a person who closely watches the New Hampshire Legislature.

Rep. Charles Bass (R) advocated for dramatic changes to shore up his vulnerable seat. Rep. Frank Guinta (R) wanted a map with few changes. But because the two men were able to agree, the map is expected to easily pass on Wednesday.

The bill will then go to Gov. John Lynch (D). He has the option to sign it immediately or to veto it. If he does neither, in five business days the map will become law.

It will then be submitted to the Justice Department for preclearance.

In related electoral news, the state government is seeking to be removed from the Justice Department’s preclearance list, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader.

One of the fiercest advocates for the change is New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner. He told the paper that the state’s inclusion is “an embarrassment.”

Kansas: Rock Chalk Jayhawk: Clock Ticks on New Map

The GOP-controlled state Senate exited for a three-week recess without taking action on the Sunflower State’s Congressional map, leaving future House boundaries in flux.

The GOP-controlled state House passed a Congressional map last week with Gov. Sam Brownback’s (R) blessing, but the Senate failed to act before leaving town.

The House-passed map, titled “Bob Dole 1,” aimed to make the state’s four GOP Members safer under the new lines. The proposal moved population to the mostly rural 1st district by splitting Topeka — a Democratic stronghold — in the 2nd district.

But GOP leadership and Democrats in the state Senate aligned to push for a different plan that could make Rep. Lynn Jenkins’ (R) district more competitive. Under this proposal, the 2nd district is more competitive, most likely paving the way for state Sen. Laura Kelly (D) to challenge Jenkins again.

“I don’t think the Senate actually cares what the Congressional map looks like,” one frustrated top Kansas GOP operative said. “This is about preserving an alliance between a liberal Republican leadership and Democrats on redistricting.”

Brownback must sign a new map into law by May 10 in order to keep the primary schedule on track. If that doesn’t happen, officials can move up the filing deadline again by several days — but any later on the calender could put the state’s Aug. 7 primary in peril.

“If that deadline moves, we’re in serious trouble,” the top Republican said.

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