O P I N I O N
To the Editor:
New Hampshire is a bastion of common sense and mutual cooperation in a time of national upheaval and distrust, but maybe that time has elapsed.
NH HB75 is a copy and paste of HB270, a bill that was retained in committee in February of this year. It proposes a districting of Strafford County’s, county commissioner seats from three seats pulled from all of Strafford County which is usually three Democratic seats to two more than most likely Republican seats and one strong Democratic seat.
This was not done in the normal process. The public was not given reasonable notice of the bill. It was rushed to Committee of Conference, with entirely Republican members, which then quickly and quietly voted to pass the bill.
Additionally, the map chosen for creating the district did not seem to use non-partisan metrics; nor have the members of that committee released the metrics they used to make their decision. Though there are over 9,000 ways that Strafford County could be redrawn, the chosen and proposed map includes counting Durham and Dover Ward 4 as contiguous, ignoring that Madbury sits in between. It is not the most compact of districts, it does not look to keep cities intact or community identities together, but it does give Republicans two seats where they previously had none.
Granite Staters are a proud people that are unafraid of reaching across the aisle to do things necessary to benefit members of their community. HB75 is clearly nothing more than an authoritarian power grab and has no place in our state.
Redistricting is necessary to maintain up-to-date and competitive voting; however, it must be done with transparency and in good faith. Include the constituents impacted by these decisions in on the conversation. Democracy is not optional. Oppose Gerrymandering. Oppose HB 75.
Curtis Register I live in Durham, New Hampshire. I’m a Marine Corps veteran whose very interested in hiking and voting rights.