The Maine State House is seen beyond the leafless trees in the waning weeks of autumn, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020, in Augusta. Credit: BDN file photo

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine’s redistricting commission reached a deal Thursday to redraw Maine’s congressional maps, moving Augusta to the sprawling 2nd District while leaving the heavily Democratic-leaning city of Waterville in the 1st District.

The release of the bipartisan plan comes after the Democratic and Republican caucuses within the commission released separate proposals last week. Although lawmakers agreed on only moving towns within Kennebec County, their suggested maps were otherwise vastly different as both parties looked for a leg up in the swingy 2nd District.

The joint plan released Thursday represents a clear compromise. If the 2020 presidential election had played out under the proposed map, President Joe Biden would have won about 4,100 more votes in the 2nd District, roughly 2,000 fewer votes than he would have picked up under the Democratic proposal but more than 3,000 more than with the Republican proposal.

The nature of the previous maps made it hard to make the 2nd District more favorable for Republicans, as most of the Kennebec County towns that could be moved over were Democratic-leaning. But Republicans achieved a slight victory in keeping Waterville, a college town that votes heavily Democratic, out of the 2nd District.

The maps still have to be approved by the Maine Legislature next week, but the commission’s compromise makes that seem likely. If lawmakers were unable to agree on maps, the issue would have to be decided by Maine’s high court.

The commission now has agreements on three of the four maps it was supposed to draw after releasing unified proposals for Maine House and county commissioner maps earlier this month, but has not yet released an agreement on Maine Senate maps. Members will meet again at 11 a.m. Friday, while Monday is the group’s final deadline.