Advocate editorial board opinion: Take politics out of redrawing voting lines

By the Advocate Editorial Board
Dec. 1, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.

Politics aside, we think it is unfortunate that two respected members of the Legislature have been forced to run against each other in the Republican March 6 Primary Election.

Who or what's to blame? Politics.

We know the cause of why state representatives Geanie Morrison (Victoria) and Todd Hunter (Corpus Christi) are being pitted against each other is the redistricting morass.

Face it, redistricting, which occurs every 10 years, is highly political and not necessarily fair. Democrats and Republicans in the Legislature draw the lines to gain an edge on each other in elections. Both are to blame for the up-in-the-air status of who files for, and votes in, what district this year.

The Republicans in the last Legislature drew odd-shaped districts and were warned it would not be accepted. It was not accepted. Now, three federal judges in San Antonio have redrawn the lines, and many think it is just as bad, only now, it favors Democrats.

We don't think the lines are based on real demographic information. For example, we see one district start on the Rio Grande River and stretch all the way to Central Texas. Drawn correctly, we think we should see many rectangular or squared districts.

For example, if the Legislature really wanted to have the districts drawn to reflect real balance in demographics, it would use technology and pour all that data into a program that would draw the lines - much like a school district keeps its schools' populations balanced.

We think the Legislature should give up on drawing the lines and give that duty to a software program. Then we wouldn't have this back-and-forth political battle over who votes where.

But that would take the politics out of it, wouldn't it?

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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