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No cheating, please

After each ten year census, NH is “redistricted.” How can 400 representatives be shared with equal-sized groups? The NEW HAMPSHIRE Constitution requires one representative for every 3,290 citizens. It is supposed to be a fair, nonpartisan and transparent process.

But in 2011, the process was not bipartisan, not transparent, and not fair.

In 2011, three people created the maps behind closed doors, not a nonpartisan committee. Public hearings were required, but no maps were shown, making informed public input impossible.

That year, 24 towns were “gerrymandered”—cheated. Towns of 3,290 citizens or more didn’t get their own representatives, as guaranteed by the Constitution. Lines were drawn to give one party the advantage over the other. One of our Executive Council districts even snakes from the rural Vermont border, to urban Dover on the Maine border.

Our legislature has awesome responsibilities. They should be dedicated to what’s best for the state, not a game of political football. Don’t create maps that end up in the courts, with great cost, delay, and rancor. A nonpartisan committee would build in checks and balances, ensuring maps come as close as possible to giving every voter equal weight.

Thanks go to Durham’s Town Council, and Administrator Todd Selig, for adopting a NH Resolution for Transparent Fair Redistricting. Right behind Durham, more than 100 other municipalities throughout New Hampshire are bringing the NH Resolution for Transparent Fair Redistricting before voters or their municipal governments. Please add your voice. Tell your representatives: We deserve transparent, nonpartisan, fair redistricting.

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