MISSOULA, Mont. — Districting maps are sparking strong opposition in the Montana Legislature.
Opponents argue the proposed districts are an inaccurate representation of how votes should be divvied up when it comes to electing state legislators.
"The old saying, you know it when you see it -- look at that map over there and tell me that's not gerrymandered," said Montana Republican party chair Don Kaltschmidt.
Opponents of the tentative map are calling it "unconstitutional," with roughly 30 of them showing up at a hearing Tuesday in Helena.
Many hope to advance a joint Senate resolution with recommendations to change the map.
"As I look at this map, I'm a little dismayed personally, that I don't think the heart of the constitution hasn't been followed," said SJ 8 sponsor State Sen. Jason Ellsworth (R-Hamilton).
The key areas drawing ire are proposed district boundaries that split municipalities like the city of Whitefish and districts viewed as too big in Missoula, Gallatin and Lewis and Clark counties.
Two supporters of the map spoke out during the hearing and said they want to see it passed, citing voting rights.
"Protecting minority voting rights isn't just the right to do what's fair and equitable in representation and redistricting. It's also the law of the land," said Patrick Yawakie with the Blackfeet Tribe.
Public comment is available online until noon this Thursday.
The legislature's deadline for providing recommendations on the tentative legislative map is Feb. 5.
You can view the proposed House map here and the proposed Senate map here.