Lawmakers heard testimony Tuesday on a proposed constitutional amendment that would create an independent commission to draw boundaries for state elections. Current law leaves the responsibility of redistricting to the New Hampshire Legislature. Supporters of this measure say that allows for gerrymandering, or the ability of the majority party to draw boundary lines in its favor. Democratic State Rep. Ellen Read, a supporter of the measure, said she’s mentioned limiting gerrymandering to members of her party in the past.
“And this person within my own party said, ‘Oh no you don’t, the other guys did it, so we’re going to do it to them when it’s our turn,’” Read said.
This bi-partisan-backed update to the state constitution would set up a seven-member commission made up of members of the public. “The President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the minority leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate shall each appoint one member,” the measure reads. The remaining three members would be selected by the initial four appointees, in a process administered by the Secretary of State.