The Winston-Salem Journal takes to its editorial page today with its support for an independent redistricting commission. And good for them. It's a subject that needs to be discussed, but just isn't as sexy as taxes or smoking or filling $2 billion budget holes.
honorable endeavor it could undertake to restore public confidence in
government. Legislators could hand redistricting duties to an
The best road back to competitive elections for both the U.S.
Congress and the two houses of the General Assembly is independent
redistricting. A nonpartisan commission would draw maps according to
redistricting standards laid out in a state Supreme Court ruling. Only
voter registration and demographic data that had been stripped of party
references would go into the computer programs.
It's not too late to implement such a system. If legislation were
approved this year, the commission's structure could be outlined in a
constitutional amendment and put before the state's voters in 2010. The
commission could draw the maps in 2011, and they'd be in use during the
We can hope that this will get some traction this session, but somehow I doubt it will happen. It would involve the Democratic leadership in the House and Senate thinking beyond protecting their own majorities and doing something in the best interest of the state.