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As N.H.’s new congressional maps move ahead, two views on what’s at stake

A photo of voters inside voting booths in Portsmouth's Ward 3.
Sara Plourde
/
NHPR
A historical perspective on redistricting efforts through the years.

The New Hampshire’s House’s Special Committee on Redistricting has voted along party lines to advance new congressional maps.

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The new maps would move about a quarter of the state’s voters into new districts. The 1st Congressional District, currently held by Democrat Chris Pappas, would become more Republican. The 2nd Congressional District, currently held by Democrat Annie Kuster, would become more Democratic.

Democrats have argued this amounts to predetermining the outcome of elections. Republicans say it makes Congressional District 1 more competitive.

Given Republican control in Concord, it’s likely the map will be law by next November.

NHPR’s Peter Biello spoke with two lawmakers who have served on the House committee.

Republican Ross Berry supports the new map.

“I genuinely view this as a balanced map, because it genuinely puts CD1 in play for both parties and it gives Republicans an opportunity, not a guarantee, an opportunity, to send a congressman down to DC, which they currently do not have.”

Republican Ross Berry

Democrat Marjorie Smith voted against the new map.

“We are a red state, a blue state, a purple state, and voters in the state should have that opportunity to be able to choose who they want to have lead them, and they frequently like to have a mix.”

Democrat Marjorie Smith

Peter Biello is the host of All Things Considered and Writers on a New England Stage at New Hampshire Public Radio. He has served as a producer/announcer/host of Weekend Edition Saturday at Vermont Public Radio and as a reporter/host of Morning Edition at WHQR in Wilmington, North Carolina.

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