redistricting

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

Gov. Chris Sununu has vetoed a bill that would have created an independent redistricting commission.

 

The legislation reached his desk after getting a bipartisan boost in the Senate two months ago. House passage was more of a party-line vote.

 

Sununu gave the idea a cold shoulder earlier this year, saying the current process has worked well.

 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

New Hampshire lawmakers have agreed on a bill to create an independent commission to redraw the state's legislative districts.

Supporters argue the current system that puts lawmakers in charge of redistricting allows for gerrymandering, in which boundaries are drawn to benefit the party in power.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

New Hampshire is a step closer to having its legislative districts drawn by an independent commission, rather than by lawmakers.

On Thursday, the state Senate passed a bipartisan bill that would create a 15-member public body to draw legislative maps.

 

A state Senate committee has given its approval to establish an independent panel to advise lawmakers on drawing New Hampshire's election districts. The unanimous vote makes it all but certain the plan will reach the desk of Governor Chris Sununu.

 

This plan would allow lawmakers to vote on redistricting maps and but would keep them out of the process of drawing them.

 

Sara Plourde; NHPR

Every ten years, states redefine the boundaries that determine congressional and legislative seats, as well as local offices.  This year, a bill in New Hampshire aims to reduce gerrymandering, the practice of configuring lines to gain partisan advantage.  We look at this proposal, and our current political maps, and conversations around gerrymandering nationally.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: May 3, 2019

May 2, 2019

New Hampshire lawmakers consider three gun control bills which may have traction in a democratically-controlled legislature. Fingerprint recognition and DNA kits are becoming common;  should we be concerned about how our "biometric" information is being used? Senator Shaheen reintroduces a bill in Congress on PFAS health effects. And we get a personal look at how working at Pease can affect your health. 


Dan Tuohy / NHPR

A measure that would create an independent commission to draw boundaries for New Hampshire elections gained a bipartisan boost Wednesday.

 

Current state law leaves the responsibility of redistricting to the legislature.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

In the first legislative session after the midterm elections, New Hampshire, like other states, has introduced a number of measures to improve voting security, ballot access, and redistricting. What do voting-related bills in New Hampshire and nationwide say about the biggest concerns surrounding our election system?

Robert Garrova for NHPR

Lawmakers heard testimony Tuesday on a proposed constitutional amendment that would create an independent commission to draw boundaries for state elections.

 

Current law leaves the responsibility of redistricting to the New Hampshire Legislature. Supporters of this measure say that allows for gerrymandering, or the ability of the majority party to draw boundary lines in its favor.

 

Sara Plourde/NHPR

Last week, the Supreme Court said it will hear a case later this year on partisan gerrymandering—a questionably constitutional practice in which legislators draw lines of voting districts in a way that gives their party a built-in electoral advantage. The Supreme Court has never ruled on partisan gerrymandering, and its decision could have a dramatic impact on the way districts are drawn after the 2020 census.

Sara Plourde/NHPR

The Republican-controlled state Senate killed a bill Thursday that would create an independent redistricting commission for state elections.

Heading into November, New Hampshire Democrats talked a big game when it came to their hopes for retaking control of the state Senate.

But when the Republicans ended up maintaining the same 14-10 margin they’ve held for the past two years, Democrats placed at least part of the blame for their losses on gerrymandered district lines.

As it turns out, they might have a point.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

The classic gerrymandered map you learned about in high school civics class is full of oddly-shaped legislative districts, drawn with obvious intent to boost one party.

But in New Hampshire, that’s rarely the case: It’s very hard to see, just by looking at the election maps, which districts might help or hurt a certain party’s chances.

So has gerrymandering been a factor in the state’s politics? And if so, how much?

Sara Plourde / NHPR

With every census, states have the chance to re-draw political boundaries based on population changes.  Usually, the legislature controls the process, giving the party in power much greater influence. We're examining how this has affected New Hampshire's voting districts, the balance of power at the Statehouse, and other approaches taken elsewhere.

Digitization supported by the Cogswell Benevolent Trust. / Image obtained via the New Hampshire Historical Society

Here’s a confusing reality about New Hampshire politics today:

Democrats are having success like never before, scoring wins that would have been unimaginable just two decades ago.

But despite that shift, there’s one place where Republicans still have a leg up on Election Day: the state Legislature.

New Hampshire's political boundaries get drawn every ten years, after new Census data comes out.

The idea of the bill taken up by the N.H. Senate today was to take the pen out of the hands of lawmakers and let an independent commission to draft the map of state house legislative districts—one that reflects voters’ wishes and “eliminates partisan distortions.”

But the Senate effectively killed that proposal Thursday—moving it to interim study as legislators are gearing up for election season.

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.

Jeff Kubina / Flickr CC

The U.S. Supreme Court has released several landmark rulings recently, but the decisions on same-sex marriage and the Affordable Care Act upstaged other major cases -- from redistricting to clean air rules to housing discrimination. We discuss those rulings you haven’t heard about and the impact they may have on New Hampshire.

Rethinking Redistricting

Feb 23, 2015
Andy Proehl / Flickr/CC

The U.S. census every ten years redistributes Congressional seats based on population changes.  While it may seem inevitable that this process would favor whichever party is in power, redistricting has been used over the years to stack the political deck. Some say this is harming the democratic process and that reform is in order.

GUEST:

The New Hampshire Supreme Court heard oral arguments this morning on a challenge to a plan to redraw the districts for the State’s House of Representatives.

The five petitioners representing towns across the Granite State argue that the House plan is too rigid in its interpretation of the US constitution’s one-man-one-vote clause. A lawyer for the petitioners, Martin Honigberg, says that a looser interpretation is not only legal, but required by an amendment to the New Hampshire constitution.

Education Funding Amendment Fails

Jun 6, 2012
Sara Plourde / NHPR

This year’s effort to pass a school funding constitutional amendment failed where such efforts tend to fail – the New Hampshire house. 

North Country's Gallus To Retire From Senate

Apr 26, 2012

Sen. John Gallus, who has represented the North Country in the Senate for about a decade, is retiring.

“I’ve been in the legislature going on 13 years and it is time to call it quits and go fishing,” he told NHPR.

After serving in the House, Gallus, a Republican from Berlin, was elected to the Senate in November 2002 to represent  District  One.

The core of district is the North Country but it runs south to the Waterville Valley.

He said changes to the district were not a factor.

 

The City of Manchester has filed suit Monday over the plan that redraws house districts. The lawsuit has been brewing for months.

In a statement, Manchester Mayor Republican Ted Gatsas called the redistricting plan unacceptable. The suit claims the new map would deprive city residents of two to three state representatives. Earlier this year the house passed a plan that combines two Manchester wards with the town of Litchfield.

New Hampshire lawmakers have reached agreement on a Congressional redistricting plan. With two incumbent Republicans in Congress, both wanted to keep their districts as GOP-leaning as possible.

Under the final plan, six towns will switch districts. Sanborton, Tilton and Campton move east from District 2 to District 1; while Deerfield, Northwood and Center Harbor will shift west to District 2.

By now, most states around the country have redrawn their political boundaries based on the 2010 census — and then there's New York.

For voters in the Forest Hills section of Queens, it has been rough. A year ago, they were represented by Democrat Anthony Weiner, who tweeted his way to infamy. Now, they're represented by Republican Bob Turner, who won a special election after Weiner resigned.

Right now, nobody even knows what district they're in.

Every ten years, with new census data, states need to re-draw their political lines and it’s never pretty.  This year is no exception, with competing partisan maps and legislative approval on a final plan due in January.  We’ll see where the new lines may land and how that could affect New Hampshire voters this fall. 

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