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Lawsuit filed as redistricting process gets underway

Posted by: under Minnesota U.S. senators, Minnesota campaigns, Minnesota congressional, Minnesota legislature, Minnesota state senators, Democrats, Republicans Updated: January 14, 2011 - 6:25 PM

A federal lawsuit filed Wednesday alleges that Minnesota’s congressional and legislative political boundaries are out of sync with new population information.

The lawsuit, filed by a handful of Minnesota voters, asks election officials to not hold the 2012 elections based on those boundaries. If legislators fail to retool the boundaries by the end of the session, the plaintiffs ask the court to order the parties to submit proposed legislative and congressional plans to the court for consideration.

The attorney, Alan Weinblatt, could not be reached for comment.

The lawsuit names Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and other local election officials as defendants. Ritchie could not immediately be reached for comment Friday.

Legislators have begun what is expected to be a months-long and politically dicey process of redrawing political boundaries. Most redistricting watchers expect the matter to wind up in court.

Republican Party of Minnesota deputy chairman Michael Brodkorb, who serves as the party’s point person for redistricting, said the lawsuit "isn't surprising."

He said “Republicans remain committed to a fair and open redistricting plan."

A spokesman from a government watchdog group urged more transparency in the redistricting process.

"The lawsuit makes clear that something wrong with the current redistricting process," Mike Dean, executive director of Common Cause Minnesota, said in a statement. Dean wants the process to be "more transparent and open, and result in districts that represent real communities.”
 

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