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30 September 2010

Rupp: Redistricting Efforts


Households throughout our state have filled out and returned their forms and we've even seen workers go door to door gathering information for the 2010 U.S. Census.  Now, operations are underway to process the information collected for the decennial census.  Data collected from these forms will help determine the number of seats our state occupies in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Currently, Missouri has nine Congressional districts.  The 2nd Senatorial District, which I represent in the Missouri Senate, falls within the 2nd and 9th Congressional Districts held by Rep. Todd Akin and Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, respectively.

According to a 2010 Census map representing mail participation rate by counties in our state, Lincoln County had a 73-78 percent participation rate and St. Charles County had a participation rate of 79-84 percent.  However, even with these high percentage rates reported out of our district, news forecasts have Missouri losing one of our nine Congressional seats.  According to a Boston Globe article, Missouri is one of eight states projected to lose a seat as a result of a shifting population base throughout the country.

A St. Louis Post-Dispatch article reports that Missouri's 72 percent return rate matched the nation's overall number; however, our state's growth rate (about 7 percent since 2000) has not kept pace with the nation's 9 percent increase.

We have a couple of months before the Census Bureau releases its report with a recommendation on how the 435 Congressional seats should be appointed.  The first data released from the 2010 Census will be the official national and state population count, which will be used to apportion seats in the U.S. House.  As mandated by the U.S. Constitution, this data must be delivered to the President of the United States by the U.S. Census Bureau on or before Dec. 31, 2010.

The work then falls on each state to draw new congressional districts in time for the 2013 elections.  In Missouri, Congressional redistricting is the responsibility of the State Legislature.  As chair of the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting, created in 2009, it is my job to help prepare the General Assembly for its role in redrawing Congressional districts in 2011.  The task of redrawing the state's 34 Senatorial districts and 163 House districts is assigned to two bipartisan commissions appointed by the governor.  The Legislature must draw and approve new Congressional districts during the 2011 regular session, or face a special session, to ensure proper filing in February 2012 for Congressional District candidates.

As work progresses on this issue, I will keep you informed on any changes regarding how the boundary lines are drawn for your legislative districts.  If you have any questions regarding this matter or any other issues within state government, please visit my website at  You can also e-mail me or call my office toll-free at (866) 271-2844.

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