This new county redistricting map should make some politically active people happier, although those not politically active and who will be put into the new Coles district might be scratching their heads come election day. There are a few issues with the map — some strangely-drawn snaking lines that sneak in to gobble up targeted sub-neighborhoods, but overall it’s not all that bad.
Here’s the kicker, though. These lines are drawn without regard to how house and senate lines will eventually shake out, and of course we don’t really know what they’re going to be yet so it’s nearly impossible to anticipate them with any reliability. Once those lines are set however, we’re going to unavoidably have plenty of split precincts that will sow all sorts of confusion at the polls on election day. It’s not unrealistic to expect that some precincts may not have two house or senate districts for voters, but three. That’s not only a nightmare for poll workers who have to make sure everyone gets the right ballot, but for campaigns, parties and the voters themselves who will suffer from all the confusion.
It’s unfortunate that we don’t do redistricting in phases, starting with congressional districts, then county magisterial districts, and on down the line to smaller and divisions where we can at least try to keep this level of confusion to a minimum. That’s not possible under current law, and with the highly compressed timeline between the census figures being released and elections, nearly impossible to make happen even if the law got changed. We’re going to have districts that needlessly overlap at different levels, we’re going to have annoying precinct splits because there’s three or more sets of line drawers at work simultaneously, and there’s little opportunity to inject sense into the process.
Just wait until we see the overlay of all the districts and the precinct lines. It’s going to be a mess.
The opinions expressed here are solely the views of the author, and not representative of the position of any organization, political party, doughnut shop, knitting guild, or waste recycling facility, but may be correctly attributed to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. If anything in the above article has offended you, please click here to receive an immediate apology.
Leave a Reply