Op-Ed: N.H. Needs Bipartisan Redistricting

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Proposed Congressional map

Dear Governor Sununu:

As you yourself have stated, redistricting “has to be done in a bipartisan way and be transparent. I always say with redistricting, it’s got to pass the smell test”.

We now have a proposed Congressional map (HB52), specifically drawn to create a Republican advantage in Congressional District 1, while packing Democratic-leaning towns into a noncompetitive District 2, which will effectively disenfranchise District 2 Republican voters. It is not a coincidence that Republican leader, Stephen Stepanek bragged that because Republicans will control redistricting this year, he could guarantee that “we will send a conservative Republican to Washington, D.C. as a Congress person in 2022.”

You twice vetoed independent redistricting commission bills, saying “New Hampshire has a redistricting process that is fair, representative, and accountable to voters.” That is clearly not the case with the proposed Congressional map. You also said that “we must be careful before pursuing wholesale changes to systems that have proven themselves to work for New Hampshire.”  (HB665 Veto Statement)  

As you know, Governor, HB52 changes the voting status of voters in 75 towns with the most radical change in NH redistricting maps since 1883. We strongly urge you to veto this grievously gerrymandered Congressional map, as you said you would. HB52 is completely partisan, doesn’t pass your smell test, and would be an affront to our democracy as it disenfranchises one-half of all NH Republican and Democratic voters.

Corinne Dodge, District 1, Undeclared Voter, Derry NH                

Celia Randall, District 2, Undeclared Voter, Brookfield, NH

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