Redrawing election maps for state and local elected officials has been an embarrassment. Map upon map; court ruling upon court ruling. All to let opportunistic lawmakers create election boundaries that favor them or their party.
Why should we let lawmakers choose voters instead of voters choosing them?
If voting districts were drawn by an independent, nonpartisan, professional map-making commission instead of the legislature, we’d have maps that voters could trust. The temptation for lawmakers to alter boundaries for personal reasons would be gone.
Both parties have abused map-making, and both parties have tried to excuse it. None of those excuses hold up. Saying it’s Ok to gerrymander is like having your child excuse bullying another student at school because he or she was bullied in the past.
The answer is clear. We need an independent commission to take the politics out of drawing election boundaries and regain voters’ trust. Plenty of other states already have independent panels and they work well.
But incumbent Sen. Jim Burgin says no. He claims the selection of members would be partisan, that “there would always be bias somehow.”
Professional map-makers aren’t biased political hacks, they are resolute individuals with skills. And they don’t have a dog in the fight. Lawmakers are nonprofessionals and they do! Which group do you think would be more even-handed?
Fair elections are at the heart of our democracy and drawing nonpartisan election districts is at the center of that fairness. To defend a partisan system with a history of unfairness over a system that can remove wrongdoing is to sanction cheating over truth. That has no place in our state.