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July 6, 2015

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Damon Political Report

Sandoval won’t call special session, redistricting goes to the courts

Sun Coverage

Gov. Brian Sandoval said today he will not call lawmakers into a special session to redraw the state’s congressional and legislative districts.

Sandoval signed a bill creating new districts for the Board of Regents, but he twice vetoed redistricting bills on congressional and legislative districts passed by the Democratic majorities in both houses.

The matter is now in the hands of Carson City District Judge James T. Russell.

In anticipation that the Legislature would not be able to come to a consensus on redistricting, both parties filed a placeholder lawsuit early in the session. Secretary of State Ross Miller has until June 20 to file a response in that suit before a hearing is scheduled.

Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature disagree on how to interpret the Voting Rights Act. Republicans want a handful of districts in which the majority of the population is Hispanic. Democrats want a broader number of districts with a strong percentage — but not necessarily the majority — of minority voters.

“In my State of the State address, I said that the legislative and congressional districts should be drawn for a fair representation of all constituents — and that they be consistent with the law,” Sandoval said in a written statement today. “On this important issue, I remain resolute in my determination to see that the new districts are fair and lawful. I am disappointed other available plans were not considered by the Legislature.”

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