The process of “gerrymandering” is a political power grab. Every 10 years following the U.S. Census, state legislative districts are redrawn to make sure the districts represent equal populations. In most states the party in power has determined the borders of these districts to their advantage. Lloyd Omdahl stated in a recent column in the Herald that “five ND districts violate the constitutional requirements of compactness.” Stark County was split into four districts to “gerrymander” out a Democratic opponent.
This will happen again if HB 1397 is passed without changes. Amendments should require a bipartisan committee to determine boundaries, transparency (the present bill includes an exemption to open records), and require open hearings. Changing HB 1397 will help insure that voters are choosing their representatives instead of representatives choosing their voters.
Patti Patrie, Bowdon, N.D.