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New Missouri congressional district map signed into law

Watch Parson's bill signing in the player above.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)

Merely days before the deadline for local election clerks to create ballots for the August primary election, Gov. Mike Parson signed the bill creating Missouri's new congressional districts Wednesday.

The bill had a turbulent journey through the Missouri legislature, as the House of Representatives and Senate could not come to an agreement on the new districts for many months. Through filibusters, many amendments and several proposed compromises, Rep. Dan Shaul's (R-Imperial) last-ditch effort to get a map through is the one that finally passed one day before the end of the session.

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Congressional map to be signed by Gov. Mike Parson on Wednesday.

Parson ceremoniously signed the bill into law at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, a few hours after the Senate adjourned from its technical session. The map will immediately go into effect because the bill includes an emergency clause.

"Today, we signed into law a congressional map that meets our constitutional requirements," Parson said in a release. "This past session, we saw a few individuals' political posturing obstruct key pieces of priority legislation and promote inefficient and ineffective government. It's unfortunate so much time and productivity were lost just to receive a map with the same partisan split that was proposed six months ago. These past months could have been better used by county clerks implementing a new map and preparing for upcoming elections."

The bill contains an emergency clause that went into effect immediately upon signing that the boundaries created by the law will be used for the 2022 midterm elections to determine Missouri's Congressional Delegation for the 118th Congress of the United States.

Missouri's highest election official, Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, told ABC 17 on Tuesday that the short notice is putting strain on county clerks preparing for the August primary. The deadline for county clerks to start making August primary election ballots is Tuesday. Military ballots have to be sent out on June 17 and absentee ballots go out on June 21.

The new map splits Boone County for the first time ever -- along Interstate 70 and along Broadway in Columbia. The northern part of the county remains in the Fourth Congressional District, while the sudden part has been incorporated into the Third Congressional District.

Boone County Clerk Brianna Lennon said this creates new hurdles for her office in creating different ballots for people in different districts and working to educate voters on what they should expect.

"Every time we have a different district line in Boone County, we have to layer it on top of all of our other districts to see if it creates any new splits in our precincts," Lennon said.

The Boone County split and rearranged districts also led to people dropping out of races. State Rep. Sara Walsh (R-Ashland) was running for Congress in the Fourth Congressional District but dropped out Monday, citing the new boundaries. Though representatives aren't required to live in their districts, she said her constituents are now in the Third District, which is held by Republican incumbent Blaine Luetkemeyer.

"I voted for the map because I believe it was good for conservatives and good for Missouri," Walsh said in a press release. "However, the newly drawn district that removes my strongest base of support has a severe impact on the chances of success for my campaign."

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Hannah Falcon

Hannah joined the ABC 17 News Team from Houston, Texas, in June 2021. She graduated from Texas A&M University. She was editor of her school newspaper and interned with KPRC in Houston. Hannah also spent a semester in Washington, D.C., and loves political reporting.

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