Gov. Sununu Commits to Vetoing Proposed NH Congressional District Maps
Thursday, March 24, 2022
Gov. Chris Sununu released a proposal for a new congressional voting district map this week, after committing to vetoing the map which passed the Senate last week.
The New Hampshire General Court's proposed congressional map is considered uncompetitive. It would lock in races for the next 10 years, with a Republican in District 1 and a Democrat in District 2.
Groups advocating for fair maps say Sununu's proposal is better, although it has a higher population deviation between districts than normally allowed.
Olivia Zink, executive director of the group Open Democracy, said voters across party lines have made it clear, both in polling and at public hearings, they want fair and competitive maps.
"I think it's really important that lawmakers really look at these districts," Zink urged. "And say, 'Are these in the best interests of the voters of our state, and not what benefits our party?' "
She added in addition to the General Court's congressional map, the other voting district maps for the state House, the state Senate and the executive council also lack competition. She argued the governor should veto the maps when they come to his desk.
Zink noted the Executive Council map is set to be voted on by the state Senate today. Executive Council members are elected every two years, concurrently with the governor. The state House map has passed both chambers of the General Court and is waiting for a signature or veto from the governor. And the state Senate map passed in the state Senate, but is awaiting a House committee hearing in April.
"The Senate maps, I think, are the worst of all of the maps," Zink contended. "It really gerrymanders for partisan gain: 16 senators will lean Republican districts. That's giving the Republican Party a supermajority in the New Hampshire Senate."
Zink added candidates need to file to run for office in June, so while there is still some time left, the deadline to have maps completed is rapidly approaching.
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