Kansans ask lawmakers to ‘put aside politics’ at launch of redistricting tour

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MANHATTAN — Kansas residents unloaded frustrations with the GOP-led redistricting process on Monday as lawmakers launched a 14-stop, five-day blitz of town halls to gather public input into how political boundaries should be redrawn.

Republicans characterized the online streaming of public forums as “unprecedented transparency,” brushing aside complaints about the short advance notice of meetings and a compacted schedule with gathering times mostly during working hours. The meetings also preempt the release of detailed information from the U.S. Census Bureau that serves as a basis for drawing congressional and legislative districts.

At the first stop, held at the Kansas State University student union in Manhattan, residents repeatedly asked a panel of Senate and House members to hold additional meetings later this year after census data can be reviewed. They also asked lawmakers to keep the new district maps…

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