Thank you for re-printing the Ketchikan News editorial regarding redistricting and the need for change to the current process. Whether Democrats or Republicans appoint the redistricting board, the new plan ends up with critics and lawsuits. Whether the fix is a constitutional amendment specifying that no more than 3 members of the Redistricting Board can be of the same party or some other strategy, such as an independent board, we must find a way to solve this decennial problem. Gerrymandering is rampant in the U.S. and, by creating “safe” seats, deprives voters of real choices, stifles debate and stunts bi-partisanship.
As a long-time member of the League of Women Voters, I want to direct readers’ attention to the publication, Shining a Light, (http://www.lwv.org/content/shining-light-redistricting-lessons-learned-2011). On redistricting, the LWV advocates for “improved transparency and opportunities for public participation; identifying areas for improving or protecting minority voting rights and, at a minimum, ensuring compliance with the Voting Rights Act, and advocating on behalf of fairer and more competitive overall redistricting plans.”
The bedrock of fair and representative government is fair election districts. Unfair redistricting supports hyper-partisan legislatures.