Ronald Reagan couldn’t get it done. Neither could Barack Obama, nor the Supreme Court.
That’s what made the recent achievement of New Hampshire legislators so special: When they crafted a bipartisan compromise to end partisan gerrymandering in the Granite State, they found a solution to a problem that corrodes the essence of representative democracy.
Politicians willingly gave up the power to draw their own districts and choose their own voters, a fundamental conflict of interest at odds with fair elections. Instead, an independent commission of five Republicans, five Democrats, and five independents would determine the lines. Maps would need the approval of nine commissioners and all three groups to pass. The entire process would be transparent.
This brave bipartisan disarmament, however, which unanimously sailed through the election law committees in both chambers, met a partisan and unprincipled end when New Hampshire’s governor, Chris Sununu, vetoed the bill earlier this month. The governor’s action all but guarantees another decade of unrepresentative, rigged maps.