Redistricting Process: Advisory Commission Population Change (since 2000): 53,438
Legislature: Democratic Seats: 2
Governor: Paul LePage (R) Members of Congress: 2D
Party Control: Split 2012: 56.0% Obama, 40.9% Romney

Map Instructions:

Three maps are available for each state. Each has new district outlines in bold.
Click on each district on the map to see more information.
Click the arrow button to switch between districts that are close together.
New Districts by Party Representation

2010 Redistricting Changes: Maine Holds Steady with Two Seats

Old Districts by Partisan Voting Index with New District Outlines
Old Districts by Party Representation with New District Outlines

Maine has historically shown population growth rates much lower than that of the national average. Data from the 2010 census shows a trend that is not much different. The population grew by approximately 4.2% between 2000 and 2010, up from the 3.8% growth rate observed between 1990 and 2000, but still substantially lower than the 9.7% national population growth rate. The 4.2% increase corresponds with an addition of 53,438 residents. Maine did not gain or lose any congressional seats, thus maintaining its two congressional seats.

Although population growth rates are consistent with those in the past, a couple of interesting trends can be observed at the county level. A number of the counties that were already highly populous, i.e. Cumberland, Penobscot, and York, experienced relatively large increases (nearly 6%). Meanwhile, some of the least populated counties experienced little, no, or even negative population growth.

Although the outcome of the 2011 redistricting process in Maine was by no means a drastic change, the process was quite tumultuous. According to the state constitution, new district maps would have been drawn in 2013, but the court case, Desena et al v. State of Maine et al, resulted in a redistricting date prior to the 2012 elections. In Desena v. Maine case, citizens sued the state of Maine to facilitate the faster redrawing and approval of district maps on the grounds that the two previous congressional districts were in violation of the Constitution now that the data from the 2010 Census had been released. (The 2003 Congressional Districts can be seen in the image above). Ultimately the three-judge panel of D. Brock Hornby, George Singal, and Bruce Selya ruled that the redistricting process should be completed by September 30, 2011 and no later than November 15, 2011 in the case that the Maine Judicial Supreme Court was forced to intervene.

In Maine, the legislature controls the redistricting process, although an advisory commission is also assembled (the Maine Congressional Reapportionment Commission) to recommend potential outcomes. The commission consists of 3 members appointed by the Speaker of the House, 3 members appointed by the House minority leader, 2 members appointed by the Senate majority leader, 2 members appointed by the Senate minority leader, one private citizen chosen by each of the two parties, and one citizen chosen by the two other private citizens.

The Maine Congressional Reapportionment Commission met initially on July 20, 2011 to discuss and draft possible new congressional district maps. The purpose of the new map was to minimize the population difference that had previously existed between the two districts. In September, the state legislature began to weigh in on the maps proposed by the commission. Each party then proposed a plan of its own. The Democratic plan left the current districts primarily in tact, while the Republican plan suggested the shifting of multiple counties between districts. . After much debate and compromise, the legislature approved the Democratic plan by a near unanimous vote, 140-3 vote in the Maine House of Representatives and a 35-0 vote in the Maine State Senate.

The new plan was approved on September 27, 2011 and signed into law by Governor Paul LePage on September 28, 2011. The redistricting lines in the new plan are largely the same as those in the previous map, but a few key changes allowed for the equalization of population. Waterville and Winslow of Kennebec County moved from District 2 to District 1, and Sidney, Monmouth, Belgrade, Mount Vernon, Rome, Vienna, Albion, Unity Township, Randolph, Gardiner, and West Gardiner of Kennebec County shifted from District 2 to District 1. All other counties were included in their entirety in either District 1 or District 2.

Both districts in Maine have had a strong tendency to vote Democratic as per the Cook Partisan Voting Index. This tendency is not likely to change due to the overall Democratic leaning nature of Maine’s congressional districts overall.

First District

District 1 is the geographically smaller of Maine’s two districts. It consists of the following counties: Cumberland, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, York and most of Kennebec. The specific cities within Kennebec County that are included in District 1 are as follows: Augusta, Chelsea, China, Farmingdale, Gardiner, Hallowell, Manchester, Pittston, Readfield, Windsor, Winthrop, Waterville, and Winslow. It is also worth noting that District 1 includes the state’s capital of Augusta. District 1 consists of more suburban and urban areas and is characterized by levels of income per capita and median household income higher than the state average. Percentages of persons living below the poverty level are also much lower than the state and national levels. The economy in District 1 consists largely of professionals and business owners.

Second District

District 2, on the other hand, is much larger geographically. In fact, it is nearly 27,326 square miles, or 80% of the state’s geography, and is the largest district east of the Mississippi River. Given such geographic characteristics, it is by far the least densely populated of the two districts in Maine. It consists of the following counties: Androscoggin Aroostook, Franklin, Hancock, Oxford, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Somerset, Waldo, Washington, and parts of Kennebec. District 2 includes the following cities within Kennebec County: Benton, Clinton, Fayette, Litchfield, Oakland, Wayne, Sidney, Monmouth, Belgrade, Mount Vernon, Rome, Vienna, Albion, Unity Township, Randolph, Gardiner, and West Gardiner. All the cities that were included in District 2 as a result of the 2011 redistricting process were those in Kennebec County that have relatively small populations. Three of the cities have populations under 1,000 and the remainder, with the exception of Gardiner, have populations under 4,000. District Two also consists of much more rural areas that are characterized by lower education levels, lower homeownership rates, lower income per capita and median household income, and substantially higher percentages of persons living below the poverty level. For example, Washington County has the highest percentage of individuals living below the poverty level in the state at 19.8%. This is 7.2% above the state average and 6% above the national average. The economy of District 2 is one relating to industry and related services.