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Arkansas vote-districting changes pitched

Plan drafted for independent panel; ballot title submitted

By John Moritz

This article was published February 23, 2018 at 4:30 a.m.

Maps that dictate which voters get grouped together in districts -- and potentially which parties or incumbents get a boost when the ballots are counted -- have in some states become the subject of recent court battles and accusations of politics usurping cartography.

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Print Headline: Vote-districting changes pitched

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Displaying 1 - 4 of 4 total comments

RBear says... February 23, 2018 at 4:09 a.m.

This has proven to be a good thing to help avoid gerrymandering by overzealous legislatures. In states where independent commissions have drawn maps, parity has been achieved and districts have been drawn that more accurately reflect the voters of the district. While Arkansas has not seen gerrymandering like other states, that is primarily because the urban centers are not as pronounced as in other states. But that could change.
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What typically happens with states with large urban centers is that Republicans will attempt to crack and pack districts to either move all the Democrats into a single district or dilute a district by including large swaths of rural areas. Texas has been a prime example of that, with Travis County divided into a collection of districts with tentacles jutting into Austin. There is no single district that represents Austin's core, demonstrating the effect of partisan redistricting.
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If we truly want to move towards more cooperative government, it's time to end extreme partisanship in redistricting and a commission like this is a great start.

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amyepatton10210920 says... February 23, 2018 at 10:01 a.m.

Yes, Mr. Hutchinson, it would have been nice to have seen a proposal such as this 20-30 years ago, but just because it wasn’t doesn’t mean it’s not worth consideration and debate today.
Let’s learn from history to make a better tomorrow.

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3WorldState1 says... February 23, 2018 at 10:17 a.m.

Hear hear!

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workerman says... February 23, 2018 at 12:24 p.m.

Why would congressional districting not be a political and/ or partisan process? It’s part of congressional elections which are political by definition. There could never be such a thing as an ‘independent’ committee. These days even the dog catcher runs on a platform for gun rights or socialized healthcare.

Couch should just call it what it is, an attempt to give now out of power Democrats a process to have more influence since they have lost their majority support in the state.

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