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Overview of Apportionment

This is a summary of the provisions of The Maine Constitution and Title 21-A, Maine Law on Elections, for establishing the new U.S. Congressional Districts, as well as State Senate and State House Districts, that will be in effect for the June and November 2004 elections.

Apportionment, sometimes called redistricting, is the process of creating voting districts for the purpose of organizing elections. Because a state's population can grow, shrink or shift, voting districts are adjusted or redrawn every 10 years in Maine. In general, the purpose is to make sure all districts have about the same number of people in them so that all citizens have equal representation in government.

For example, as a result of this new apportionment for the 2004 elections, every district for the Maine House of Representatives will have approximately 8,443 people in it. Put another way, every House Member will represent about 8,443 individuals. Every district for the Maine Senate will have approximately 36,426 people in it. Maine has two U.S. Congressional districts, and each of those districts will have approximately 637,462 people.

There are laws and rules for creating these districts and for drawing the lines on maps to show where the districts are located. The laws and rules can be different, depending on what kind of electoral district is involved.

Once the districts are apportioned, the Maine Secretary of State must provide the applicable maps and district boundary descriptions to the municipal clerks, so that they may revise their voting lists and prepare to conduct elections using the new districts.


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