The Democratic maps are fair, and would produce a proportional legislature for Montana. The Republican maps would produce extremely lopsided outcomes for the state. With just 57% of the vote, Republicans would be favored to win in 71 and 72 seats on each of their two plans.
In another grim turn of events, Republicans decided they were so desperate to steal seats that they even proposed taking away Native representation from Indian Country. Both maps would flip Native seats red in Crow and Northern Cheyenne, with districts crafted to ensure that Native candidates of choice cannot win both districts. One Republican proposal would stop Blackfeet and CSKT from being kept whole in a Senate district, a precedent we have had for 20 years. It would ensure for the first time in 20 years that there are no majority minority House seats on the Flathead reservation. The other proposal blocks any chance for Fort Peck to remain with Rocky Boy and Fort Belknap, eliminating another majority-minority Senate district.
Commissioners Miller and Lamson have put in the work and created many many resources for the public to use to understand what each proposal would mean for the state. You can find every proposal and tools to analyze them here
in a tweet thread from Kendra. I’ve also attached some talking points you can use as well.
Now that we have Republican maps in hand, the next few days will involve some heavy analysis. We will have more specific guidance about how to speak about these maps on Friday at 1pm. Next week we will also have regional meetings with specific guidance based on all four proposals. Be on the lookout for these to be scheduled later this week. We will have an update once we’ve spent some more time with them. Until then, please use the guidance below.