Senate Republicans Pass Gerrymandered Senate Map
Contact Name: Marina Altschiller
Phone: (603) 271-3375
CONCORD – Today, Senate Republicans voted to approve gerrymandered maps for the New Hampshire Senate districts through the passage of SB 240. The bill will now cross over to the House for consideration.
After the vote, Senate Democratic Leader Donna Soucy (D-Manchester) and Senator Rebecca Perkins Kwoka (D-Portsmouth) issued the following statements:
Senate Democratic Leader Donna Soucy (D-Manchester) stated, “The Senate District map my Republican colleagues adopted today ultimately falls short of delivering a plan that the citizens of New Hampshire asked for and deserve.
Redistricting plans are some of the most important bills that we consider given that we only do this once a decade. As such, it is tremendously important that we do all we can do to get it right.
Throughout this process, we traveled to every county of the state to listen to the concerns of our citizens—the very people who will have to live with these redrawn lines for the next 10 years. We published proposed maps for public review and held even more hearings to solicit public input. Our job was to craft a redistricting plan that responds to those citizen comments and concerns.
The Republican plan adopted today fails to reflect communities of interest and further gerrymanders the Senate Districts for political gain. I am deeply disappointed that we failed to deliver a plan that honors the requests of our constituents.”
Senator Rebecca Perkins Kwoka (D-Portsmouth) added, “I am deeply disappointed in the Senate District map adopted by the Majority today. So many concerned citizens took the time to share their concerns and proposals with us, and in the end, it does not seem that their feedback was included. We must leave no stone unturned in our effort to make sure these maps are as fair as possible.
The feedback we received from Granite Staters was to respect how they live and how their communities intertwine. Our proposal only made changes where it was truly necessary and left 8 Senate districts exactly as they exist today. We also strived to reduce the number of districts that cross county lines and reduce the number of districts per county. These districts are based on what our residents asked for: communities of interest.
In past efforts to establish an independent redistricting committee, we have been told time and time again that this is a legislative task fit only for legislators to carry out. If the only thing we care about in this work is getting to the lowest possible standard deviation percentage, we could’ve had a computer do this for us. If we are going to disregard the human element here, why did we take the time to solicit input, to deliberate for hours, and to craft these proposals? The point of this process is to respond to the needs of our electorate, and those needs extend beyond standard deviations. These are people’s lives and should be treated as such. As one of our most sacred duties, I am disappointed in the decisions of my Republican colleagues here today not to reflect Granite Staters’ feedback.”