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Letter: Redistricting proposal deserves support

Redistricting proposal deserves support

5:46 PM, Apr. 19, 2013  |  Comments
Mandy Wright Mandy Wright Mandy Wright
Mandy Wright Mandy Wright Mandy Wright
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EDITOR: State Rep. Mandy Wright of Wausau and others got it right when they recently introduced legislation that would return redistricting to a neutral third party, rather than leave this important matter up to the politicians who have much to gain in the process.

Right now, politicians - not the pubic - decide the boundaries of political districts, and as a result they gerrymander these districts so that incumbents obtain an advantage.

According to the Daily Herald Media report, Wright's proposal would establish a Redistricting Advisory Commission which would work with the Legislative Fiscal Bureau to redistrict the state every 10 years as required by law. The bill is modeled after a unique but time-tested redistricting process in Iowa, where the Legislative Service Agency is responsible for drawing the districts

This proposal should gain bipartisan support. The current process favors the party in power at the time, so as control of the state legislature switches back and forth, so does the redistricting advantage. In other words, the practice you support today may come back to haunt you next time around.

And control does indeed change. Since 1990, Democrats have held the majority in the state Senate in eight sessions, Republicans four. And in five of those sessions, the majority has been just a single vote.

Wright's proposal makes sense, would cost less than current practice and would help return the election process to the public where it belongs. At the very least it should get as much attention as is being given voter ID and polling hour restrictions. "Voter fraud" can take many forms.

Jim Force,

Wausau

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