Dianne Carman, writing for the Denver Post, said “Getting the partisanship out of politics is like trying to take the sex out of porn.” If Congressional Redistricting were rated like a movie this year, it would have received an “X” rating, but it probably would have been called “soft porn.” None of the closed door politics was on public view and few people know what really happened that led to the ultimate result.
While redistricting by commission is supposed to be nonpartisan, equitable, open, and transparent, that is never the case. Instead, it is a highly politicized process decided by two political parties. The people who clamor for transparency when they create redistricting commissions always end up with a process shrouded in secrecy. New Jersey’s process is no different.
New Jersey is one of 13 states that use a commission to redraw district lines. In the majority of states, the state legislature has the task of drafting redistricting plans. While many will argue that redistricting by commission is the superior process because it is a little less political, the truth is that any redistricting process is subject to gerrymandering. This term was coined in 1812 after Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry became the first politician to manipulate redistricting to benefit his party.
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