Republicans and Democrats appear to be moving closer to agreement on a proposed constitutional amendment about how the state’s congressional districts are drawn. The issue is whether it’s better to continue to allow the legislature to draw the maps — which often wind up in court — or create a bipartisan, independent commission. Since it was announced last month, the discussions have been slowed by long-held distrust between the parties and questions about ulterior motives and overemphasizing or diminishing minority voting strength.
Some Democrats think Republicans are trying to inconspicuously bust up minority voting power, which has traditionally favored Democratic candidates by making “communities of interest” less important than geographical boundaries and partisan balance.
Republicans, for more than a decade, have argued that the current system of map-making is too political and favors the party that controls the legislature each 10 years, when boundaries must be redrawn based on the Census.