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Fewer people live in rural areas, districts get larger

HELENA — With Google Earth on their computer screens and cups of coffee cooling on the table, a five-person commission spent five August days in the Capitol discussing, drafting and redrawing lines that would determine the makeup of legislative districts for the next decade.

The committee's proposal is currently awaiting legislators' input. It reflects a state population that increased by 10 percent between 2000 and 2010.

But not every part of Montana experienced the boom. Many rural counties' populations declined, forcing commissioners to redraw districts already spanning large areas even big...


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