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Prof. Justin Levitt's Doug Spencer's Guide to Drawing the Electoral Lines

State Summary

Kansas’s congressional and state legislative lines are drawn by the legislature, as normal legislation, subject to gubernatorial veto.

In the 2010 cycle, the legislature could not agree on congressional or state legislative district lines.  On June 7, 2012, a federal court drew district lines instead.

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Seats: (projected)

Institution:

Drawn by:

Plan Status:

Party Control:
  Upper House:
  Lower House:
  Governor:

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The Latest Updates

Oct 26, 2021
The Kansas Legislature announced plans to hold four additional public hearings on the redistricting process in November.
Jul 9, 2021
Kansas lawmakers are planning to hold 14 town halls to gather public input on the redistricting process. The full schedule is available here.
May 20, 2021
The Kansas Office of Revisor of Statutes issued proposed guidelines and criteria for the redistricting process.

Institution

Kansas’ congressional and state legislative lines are both drawn by the state legislature, as a regular statute, subject to gubernatorial veto.

The state legislative plan is automatically sent to the Kansas Supreme Court for review; if the plan is unlawful, the Court will allow the legislature another opportunity to redraw the lines. No similar provision exists for congressional lines. [Kan. Const. art. X, § 1(b)]

Timing

Kansas state law does not impose a particular deadline for drawing congressional lines, though candidates must file for congressional primary elections by June 1, 2022. [Kan. Stat. Ann. § 25-205(a)(1)]  The legislative session began on Jan. 11, 2021, and is currently scheduled to end on May 14, 2021.

State legislative lines must be drawn in the regular legislative session of 2022; that session is scheduled to begin on Jan. 10, 2022, and end on Apr. 10, 2022. [Kan. Const. art. II, § 8; art. X, § 1(a)] Candidates must file for state legislative primary elections by June 1, 2022. [Kan. Stat. Ann. § 25-205(a)(1)].

Kansas prohibits redrawing state legislative district lines mid-decade, before the next Census, but has no similarly explicit prohibition on redrawing congressional lines. [Kan. Const. art. X, § 1(a)Harris v. Shanahan, 387 P.2d 771 (Kan. 1963)]

Public input

The legislative redistricting committees held a series of 14 public hearings on the redistricting process from August 9, 2021, through August 13, 2021.

Criteria

Like all states, Kansas must comply with constitutional equal population requirements. (Kansas once adjusted census data in order to count military personnel and college students at their permanent residence, but as of 2019, no longer does so.) [Kan. Const. art. X, § 1(a); Kan. S. Con. Res. 1605; Kan. Stat. §§ 11-301 – 307]

Kansas must also, like all states, abide by the Voting Rights Act and constitutional rules on race.

2010 cycle

Kansas’s legislature could not agree on congressional or state legislative district lines.  On June 7, 2012, a federal court drew district lines instead.  [Essex v. Kobach, 874 F. Supp. 2d 1069 (D. Kan. 2012)]

2000 cycle

Kansas’s legislature enacted state House districts (HB 2625) on Mar. 11, 2002, state Senate districts (SB 256) on Apr. 8, 2002, and congressional districts (SB 152) on May 31, 2002.

The state legislative plans were automatically submitted to state court, and upheld.  The congressional plan was also challenged in federal court, and ultimately upheld. [In re Substitute for House Bill 2625, No. 88735 (Kan. 2002); In re Substitute for Senate Bill 256, No. 88821 (Kan. 2002); Graham v. Thornburgh, 207 F. Supp. 2d 1280 (D. Kan. 2002)]

Redistricting Cases in Kansas

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Kansas | Federal Trial | Congress | State Upper | State Lower
Essex v. Kobach
Federal court issued opinion drawing both state legislative and congressional districts after legislature failed to agree on new lines.
Last Updated Jun 7, 2012
Case Number

No. 5:12-cv-04046 (D. Kan.)

Cycle 2010