CONCORD, NH - “Politicians are the ones deciding who gets elected not the voters” said Sen. Bette Lasky during the debate over SB 107, which would take redistricting out of the hands of the legislature and create an independent commission to redistrict. New Hampshire needs s system that celebrates the voices of the voters not a system where politicians hand pick their constituents.
When redistricting is in the hands of legislators whoever is in the majority controls the process, and can use it to give themselves an advantage in elections and party control of legislative bodies. The current system for drawing districts is like a fox guarding the hen house, what New Hampshire needs is an independent commission in charge of redistricting, so the politicians represent the people rather than drawing district lines so the people reflect the politicians.
Senate Democrats introduced SB 107 in 2017 to make redistricting about representing voters, not about a majority using back room planning to desperately try to maintain control. The bill would have created a transparent, independent commission to draw the lines that will define our Senate for at least a decade.
It is in the best interest of all Granite Staters to have a Senate that represents you. The senate directly impacts your life everyday: from the quality of the schools your children attend, to the quality of your water, to your ability to take time from work to care from your family. You need a Senate that represents your interests not a senate full entrenched politicians free from political consequences through predictable partisan gerrymandered districts.
“It’s time that the House and Senate put its interests at the back of the line not ahead of the voters’ interests.” - Sen. Bette Lasky SD-13
During the floor discussion of SB 107 Sen. Jones Gray (R) SD-6 representing the committee’s opinion on the bill said, “the legislature has done a fantastic job of creating districts that fairly represent the great people of New Hampshire.” But the legislature has not done a “fantastic” job at all, they have not even done an acceptable job. During the past two redistricting cycles the Republican majorities ran processes that failed to be both fair and transparent. In 2001 their process was so flaws the New Hampshire Supreme Court was forced to draw the lines for the legislature, and in 2012 their process was done with so much secrecy that according to Sen. Lasky legislators were not even able to tell voters what the plan was. Republican majorities proved they cannot be trusted to perform redistricting, yet they refuse to give up control using the blatant lie that they do a “fantastic” job.
New Hampshire needs a fair, impartial, and transparent redistricting system that prioritizes voter representation over the interests of politicians. A Senate Democratic majority will be dedicated to representing New Hampshire and guaranteeing voters pick who represent them, not the other way around.