Districts shall be drawn in compliance with the following criteria which are listed in order of descending priority. Districts shall: be approximately equal in population so that the population of the largest does not exceed that of the smallest by more than 5%; have boundaries that run generally north-south; be geographically compact and continuous; and be composed of whole voting precincts to the maximum extent possible. Each district shall be assigned a number 1 to 3.
By January 31, 1991, and by January 31st of each tenth year thereafter, a Districting Commission shall be appointed. Each member of the Board of Commissioners shall appoint one member. A member of the Board of Commissioners shall not serve on the Districting Commission. The central committee of each major political party, as such party is defined by state law, shall each appoint one member to the Districting Commission.
Members of the Districting Commission shall serve without compensation but will be reimbursed for expenses. The Districting Commission shall meet within 15 days after appointment and develop procedures for the employment of a Districting Master who shall be qualified by training, education, and experience to draw a districting plan. The Districting Master shall be hired by March 15. Immediately thereafter, the Districting Commission shall schedule public hearings to provide input on preliminary districting proposals being developed by the Districting Master. The Districting Master shall meet with the Districting Commission to consider recommendations for changes by the Districting Commission members.
The Districting Master shall submit the final draft of the districting plan to the Districting Commission for consideration of adoption. The Districting Commission shall hold a public hearing on the final draft of the districting plan submitted by the Districting Master. The Districting Commission shall approve a final plan by a majority plus one vote no later than eight months after receipt of the most recent federal decennial census information from the state redistricting commission.