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Absentee Ballot And Redistricting Bills Clear N.H. Senate

NHPR Staff

The state Senate voted through two high-profile election law bills Monday: a proposal that makes it easier to vote absentee during the coronavirus pandemic, and a bill that creates an independent redistricting commission.

A similar proposal cleared the Senate unanimously last year before Gov. Chris Sununu vetoed it.

This year, it passed along near party lines. According to Sen. Jon Morgan, a Brentwood Democrat, it would bring an end to partisan gerrymandering.

“This is not about Democrat and Republican, or liberal versus conservative,” Morgan said. “It is about right versus wrong.”

Republican Sen. Regina Birdsell of Hampstead strongly backed the commission last year, but said she now sees it as counterproductive.

“The commission actually makes it worse because the commissioners are not accountable,” she said.

Under the bill, lawmakers would give final approval to the work of an independent commission. Districts are traditionally redrawn ever ten years following the U.S. Census.

Josh has worked at NHPR since 2000.
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