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Over the coming months, commissioners ….

Over the coming months, commissioners will continue to debate among themselves and also travel the state to gather public comment on the maps and make changes accordingly. Several members of the public have also submitted map proposals, with more to come.

“I almost guarantee you that we’re not going to have these same maps by the end of the process,” said Maylinn Smith, the commission’s nonpartisan chair and tie-breaking fifth vote. If, as has often been the case in this decennial process, the four partisan commissioners reach an impasse, Smith’s vote will determine the lines of the legislative districts, which are set to take effect beginning in 2024.

Miller emphasized that point, putting the onus on Smith to select a fair map.

“The chair will decide whether the map will reflect the will of the voters … or whether the game will be rigged in one party’s favor, subverting the will of Montana voters to hand power to one party that is above and beyond what the people of Montana are voting for,” she said.

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