The New Hampshire Legislature - Democrats and Republicans - should be proud. Overwhelmingly, the House and Senate chose to put voters first. And then the governor, putting partisan politics ahead of voter’s rights, vetoed HB 706, which would have created an independent redistricting commission in New Hampshire.
Every 10 years, states must redraw district lines for congressional, state House, state Senate and Executive Council districts. New Hampshire, like many states, left that task to the party in power. This, however, creates an immediate conflict of interest. Politicians have looked out for the best interest of themselves and their party over that of the citizens of New Hampshire. Districts have been drawn that connect communities with different needs, sometimes on different ends of the state, to benefit the party in charge and to help make sure they stayed that way.
Over the years, voters in other states have used initiatives to compel legislatures to act fairly. Rather than have the party in charge draw the maps, they have changed their laws so that the maps would be drawn by an independent commission. This year, the New Hampshire Legislature chose to step up to the plate by passing a bill that would create an independent redistricting commission. New Hampshire would have been the first legislature in the nation to put in place, on its own, a system that gives voters the right to choose who to vote for, rather than elected officials deciding who gets to vote for them.