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Map Quest

Four people sitting around a table in a television studio.

The process of redrawing New Mexico’s voting districts that started back in 2021 has finally concluded with the state Supreme Court affirming a lower court ruling that the redrawn congressional map is constitutional. On this week’s New Mexico in Focus roundtable, we dig into the court case and what the rulings mean for the 2024 election. We also preview what will be a hard push in the upcoming legislative session to change the way New Mexico draws maps the next time around.

I’ve been covering for KUNM since the jump. From the advent of the Citizen Redistricting Committee, which proposed nonpartisan maps that lawmakers chose not to adopt, to the redistricting session that saw legislators flip the performance of Congressional District 2 from 53% Republican to 53% Democrat, I’ve documented it all. And of course, I was there for the trial after the state Republican Party sued, alleging Democrats violated the New Mexico constitution when they drew those district boundaries.

The trial itself provided plenty of fodder for our discussion at the table this week, but we also wanted to look ahead. What role will the new map play  as Democratic Rep. Gabe Vasquez and Yvette Herrell, the Republican former congresswoman he squeaked past in 2022, rematch next year? Will New Mexico let lawmakers draw the maps again in 2031, despite broad public support for an independent commission to take the reins?

If the word “redistricting” makes your eyes glaze over, you aren’t alone. But I hope you’ll tune in to learn about what happened, why it matters, and what’s next in an engaging conversation with folks who really know their stuff. Our panel this week includes Ed Chávez, chair of the Citizen Redistricting Committee and a former chief justice of the State Supreme Court, Republican former state Rep. Justine Fox-Young, and  Democratic former state Sen. Dede Feldman, who now works with Common Cause New Mexico. 

– Nash Jones, KUNM reporter, NMiF correspondent