AUGUSTA — Both houses of the Legislature overwhelmingly approved new maps for Maine’s legislative districts Wednesday, but an independent lawmaker from Knox County complained that he was gerrymandered under the plan.

On the House floor before the 133-11 vote, members of both parties called the redistricting plan a compromise.

Rep. Amy Volk, R-Scarborough, a member of the commission that proposed the plan, said it was made through an “excellent process.”

Shortly after that vote, the Senate passed the plan unanimously.

The bipartisan redistricting commission unanimously approved the maps for Maine’s 186 House and Senate districts Friday. The plan now goes to Gov. Paul LePage.

Maine law requires that legislative districts be updated every decade to reflect population changes. Based on 2010 Census data, the new plan reflects big changes in Maine’s population distribution. The state’s population centers grew significantly while rural areas lost people.

From 2000 to 2010, the population shrank by 3.2 percent in Washington County and 2.8 percent in Aroostook County, while it grew in Cumberland County by 6 percent, exceeding the state average of 4.8 percent.

After the commission released the maps Friday, all involved called it a true compromise in which neither party got all that it wanted.

But on the floor Wednesday, independent Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos of Friendship spoke in dissent. He said that unenrolled members don’t have a say in the redistricting process, and that about 7,000 of the 8,800 residents in his district will change districts under the plan.

Evangelos’ district, now comprising Cushing, Friendship, Union and Warren in Knox County, would comprise Friendship, Union, Washington and Waldoboro under the new plan.

“It would have been nice for us to have a seat at the table,” he said. “I can’t support being gerrymandered.”

Michael Shepherd — 370-7652
[email protected]
Twitter: @mikeshepherdme

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