Hansell gets ready for redistricting work

By on Wednesday, February 3rd, 2021 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

SALEM – The U.S. Census is expected to send 2020 preliminary census figures to the Oregon Legislature in April, and a 10-member joint committee is waiting to receive them and get down to work.

Sen. Bill Hansell (R-Athena) is on that committee and he says that while party politics do come into play, the root of redistricting is a math problem.

“You take the state census,” he said. “You divide it by 60, plus or minus a percent or two, then draw your boundaries.”

There are 60 districts in the Oregon House of Representatives, and two districts combine to create a Senate district. Because of just how the line is drawn can impact people throughout the state, Hansell said a lot of work is facing the committee.

“Constitutionally, we are supposed to meet throughout the state in 10 different meetings over the course of the deliberations,” he said. “I don’t know how COVID’s going to affect that.”

If the Legislature fails to agree on redistricting, the Oregon Secretary of State draws the new boundaries.