* The governor was asked today about the fact that he didn’t mention remap reform in his State of the State speech. As we’ve discussed, several Republicans and reformers were upset at the omission. His reply…
Well, as you know the remap process occurs, we have a census that’s taking place. And I want to remind everybody here, students, everybody in the room and everybody you know, that that census is taking place and that you need to take part in it, needed to encourage your neighbors and your friends and everybody else to take part in it. It’s very important for the state for the future of the state, for making sure that we get the proper number of congressional districts and the proper federal funding that comes from the number of people who are counted in the census, lots of undercounted people 10 years ago, we don’t want that to happen again. So that’s my first entreaty to all of you.
I, you know, ran a campaign in which I talked a lot about making sure that we had a fair mapping process, that we ended up with a fair map. And and I really believe that I think we should have compact contiguous districts as best we can.
Not to get into the weeds of it. As you know, when you start on a map, you start with the Supreme Court’s rulings around civil rights, you have to draw those districts first. And then you have to draw everything else around them. So it starts out a little bit gerrymandered by the Supreme Court. And appropriately so, if you ask me, but then, you know, we can have compact contiguous districts.
So look, I am going to veto any unfair map that gets presented to me. And yeah, and I believe that we’ll be able to take care of it that way. Thank you.
…Adding… This is the question I asked all gubernatorial candidates in March of 2018…
This requires only a simple yes or no response: Will you pledge as governor to veto any state legislative redistricting map proposal that is in any way drafted or created by legislators, political party leaders and/or their staffs or allies? The exception, of course, would be the final official draft by LRB.
Pretty darned specific.
Yes, I will pledge to veto. We should amend the constitution to create an independent commission to draw legislative maps, but in the meantime, I would urge Democrats and Republicans to agree to an independent commission to handle creating a new legislative map. That designated body should reflect the gender, racial, and geographic diversity of the state and look to preserve the Voting Rights Act decisions to ensure racial and language minorities are fully represented in the electoral process.