2020 Census Doubles Montana’s Representation in Congress
Having the largest single U.S. House District in the country with over a million people, the 2020 Census enabled Montana to double its representation in the House of Representatives from one to two.
Montana Senate President Mark Blasdel, representing Senate District 4, spoke to KGVO about the momentous decision.
“Monday’s announcement is exciting news and especially great news for Montana,” said Blasdel. “After decades of being under represented, Montanans will finally have a proportional voice in the U.S. House of Representatives. As Washington, D.C. has become more and more disconnected from the needs of the values of Montana, doubling our voice in Congress is a massive step in the right direction.”
Blasdel walked KGVO through the process of choosing our second representative.
“So obviously this goes through our redistricting commission, which is a five member commission,” he said. “There are two appointments from the Republican Party, two appointments from the Democratic Party, and then the fifth appointment, if the two sides can't agree, is made through the Supreme Court. Those five members will weigh this out as they come up with the district boundaries.”
Blasdel described his priorities with the commission.
“The most important thing is to keep counties together,” he said. “And also I believe as much as we can the regional interests of Montana, and in a way all those as we make it fair and equal in population, and I think to have those different areas of Montana represented the best way we can.”
Blasdel said the redistricting process will involve many public meetings around the state, hopefully in person so that people can speak directly to the commission.
“If it's like the redistricting commission from 10 years ago, they will have public meetings throughout the state of Montana as they move through it and make different amendments to the lines and start to lay out different possibilities and plans,” he said. “They are supposed to have public meetings where those things can be taken into consideration.”
Blasdel also said ‘Montana’s redistricting commission now needs to draw our district lines to best serve ordinary Montanans, and to avoid partisan gerrymandering.’