DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — In most states, redistricting is a bare-knuckles, once-a-decade fight in which incumbents use the process to try to solidify their re-election chances and parties scramble for an advantage.
Things are different in Iowa, which uses a panel of two geographers and a lawyer to redraw the maps.
But this year, the state is losing a congressional seat due to the latest U.S. Census numbers. Bruce Cain, a University of California-Berkley political science professor, says that could set off a partisan redistricting battle in the state with the nation's most nonpartisan system.
Iowa isn't the only state that has taken the process out of the hands of the Legislature. In Arizona and California, for example, there is a separate commission that does the work, but those members are appointed by lawmakers.
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