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August 21, 2012

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Karl Kurtz

Montana legislative staffer Rachel Weiss sent the following comment:

"I read with interest your recent post in The Thicket about redistricting and incumbency. I noticed Montana was listed in the table comparing 2000 and 2012 turnover rates. However, Montana’s new legislative districts won’t take effect until the 2014 state legislative elections. The current districts were in place for the 2004 elections and will be used through 2012. The Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission is still drawing state House and Senate districts to reflect the 2010 Census data. These districts will be used from 2014 to 2022. It’s a bit different than most of the other states, so I thought I’d let you know about that particular quirk in the data.
"Thanks for the article. It was a good read."

Thanks for the comment, Rachel. Montana's high place on the list, despite not having yet redistricted, demonstrates that term limits can easily trump redistricting in causing high levels of turnover.

Maine is another state that has not yet redistricted. Maine and Montana--both term-limited and high on the list of states for pre-election turnover--are the only two states that have a state constitutional provision allowing state legislative redistricting to wait until four years after the census.

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