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It’s that time of the decade again and while many are dividing perennials this fall, your state legislators are reshaping legislative districts. Redistricting can be complicated so I hope to make the process conceivable.
What Is It? Redistricting is the redrawing of congressional and legislative districts. It happens every 10 years based on the census. Redistricting determines where you vote and who’s on the ballot, and most importantly how our voices are heard.
Why Does It Happen? To fulfill the premise of equal representation as the constitution requires by keeping districts as equal as possible in population. How and where district lines are drawn can shape communities’ ability to elect representatives of their choice.
Why It Matters? Redistricting can dramatically impact the fairness of our political process.This matters because if not careful, it could leave states vulnerable to gerrymandering. Unfair redistricting (or gerrymandering) has negative ramifications such as impacting racial fairness by diluting the power of minority voters and giving an unfair advantage to one political party in a certain district.
Redistricting in Nebraska: Our legislature’s return for a special session starting today is dedicated to redistricting. The past couple of weeks has included the Legislative Research Division organizing data from the Census Bureau and the Redistricting Committee preparing recommendations they will present in hearings in each Congressional district. District remapping also includes our U.S. House of Representative districts, regent districts for the University of Nebraska Board of Regents, the Nebraska Supreme Court, the Nebraska Public Service Commission and State Board of Education.
Hearings will be as follows:
Tuesday, September 14 at 1:30pm at Central Community College, 3134 W. Hwy 34, Room 555, Health Science Education Center, Grand Island, NE
Wednesday, September 15 at 9:00am at the Nebraska State Capitol Bldg. Room 1524, Lincoln
Thursday, September 16 at 10 a.m. at the Scott Conference Center, 6450 Pine St. in Omaha
The Redistricting Committee website that gives further information on procedures and how to comment is found at: http://news.legislature.ne.gov/red/
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