Bill Seeks Political Map That Reflects Voters' Wishes, Not 'Partisan Distortions'

Jan 16, 2016

Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Every ten years, with new census data, the New Hampshire legislature redraws the political map. It’s the party in power that gets to hold the pen. But Tuesday, a bill was introduced in the House proposing the state set up an independent redistricting commission.

Last time state lawmakers re-drew the legislative map, it was a mess: Democrats versus Republicans, a veto, arguments that went all the way up to the New Hampshire Supreme Court. 

Take the long  view for a second and you can see that the scale tips up and down like this every time—depending on which political party holds the majority. To the victor goes the spoils, right?

But we're in the middle of that 10-year cycle now, which is why attorney Paul Twomey who's been working on election reform for the last decade—says this is just the moment to appeal to everybody’s better judgment—before things get ugly again.

Twomey's a Democrat, but he says his goals here are non-partisan.

"I think everybody in there understands that people are disenchanted by what their government’s doing and this is one of the problems that we have election results that don’t follow the votes—the majority of people will vote for one party and the other party has control of everything. That really isn’t democracy."

Under the bill, the new commission would have wide discretion--but would have to draw a map that reflects voter's wishes and "eliminates partisan distortions."