Major Redistricting Changes Natrona County Legislative Districts
The new redistricting plan has passed the Wyoming House and Senate, so there are new districts lines in both chambers across the state.
In Natrona County, all the districts saw some sort of shift in their boundary lines, as the population in the county has shifted since the last census in 2010, along with the addition of two new House districts and one new Senate district.
Below is a video showing what the Senate districts looked like originally, followed by what their new lines look like.
Below is a video of what the old House districts looked like, followed by the new district lines, including one of the extra House districts, 62.
Tom Walters, who represents House District 38, said he voted against the final plan because it expands the legislature to a greater extent than the state's population increased, and preferred maps that kept the same number of seats.
Walters said the districts were drawn so as not to change a legislators district too much, and that he's happy with what his district is like.
"To my knowledge, no sitting member of the legislature was drawn out of their district, and that was kind of a professional courtesy that was done in the process," Walters said. "We don't want to intentionally go out and draw someone out of their district...House District 38 gained population, and so either way House District 38 needed to shed a little population and I'm completely content with the one they finalized."
Representative Joe MacGuire, from District 35, said he hopes next time the legislature deals with redistricting, there is an independent commission in charge, rather than the legislature.
MacGuire said that he thinks it's only a matter of time before the bill gets challenged in court for being outside deviation.
Senator Bill Landon, from Senate District 27 and who voted in favor of the final map, said the reason a few districts are out of proportion is that they wanted to make sure communities of interest stayed together.
"Why did we do what did? That's Sheridan school district number three out there, in Clearmont, that's a community of interest for Clearmont to be paired what their home community as opposed to being paired with someone who's 80 miles away in Campbell County," Landon said. "I think there's always a chance that the map will be challenged, and you have to defend it...it does throw the map out of deviation a little bit, but it's a map that's supported by enough of the legislators to get through.
Landon said even though it was hard to bring together the maps proposed by the House and Senate, he feels they did well for the people of Wyoming.
"I don't know we could have ever brought the Senate to the House's position. I don't know if we would have ever gotten the House to come to the Senate position," Landon said. "It's one of those situations where almost nobody gets what they want, but they get a map that works for Wyoming. I do think it works for the people of Wyoming. It allows those rural districts to pretty much stay intact and be represented as they always have been. And it does carve out a couple of new districts in the parts of our state that are growing right now. That was pretty difficult for Natrona County and having an eastern part of our county carved away to create a new district, those are my people, that's District 27 and a very difficult vote because we care a lot about our friends in Evansville and all the way down through Meadow Acres."