GOP Redistricting Map: Try to Force a Win?
The redistricting map proposed by New Hampshire House Republicans that swaps several Seacoast towns between the two Congressional districts is exactly what the GOP said it would do and should not come as a surprise, according to one political analyst.
Redistricting is required after a census to reflect the current population. After the 2020 census six states gained a congressional district while six lost seats. New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts remained the same.
The New Hampshire Special Committee on Redistricting released two maps Wednesday: one from Democrats, which made one change shifting Hampstead into the second Congressional district, and one from Republicans which made some radical changes
The GOP map shifts Dover, Durham, Portsmouth, Rochester and Somersworth into the second Congressional district and moves Atkinson, Hudson, Pelham, Salem and Windham into the first.
SNHU Civic Scholar Dean Spiliotes told Seacoast Current it's exactly what the GOP said it would do.
"The GOP signaled that this was the party's intention. Move out several Democratic leaning towns on the Seacoast, and move in several Republican leaning towns just north of the Mass border. Trying to guarantee the GOP at least one CD in the state," Spiliotes said.
Five candidates have already announced for the First Congressional District race, three of whom have connections to the Trump White House.
"It's among the most egregiously gerrymandered proposals we're ever seen
Democratic Portsmouth state Sen. Perkin Kwolla said it's obviously all about politics.
"It's among the most egregiously gerrymandered proposals we're ever seen in this state," Kwolla said in a statement. "The House GOP proposal is so obviously motivated by putting party over country that even members of their own party can't deny their own gerrymandering."
The state Democratic Party said it as an attempt to "rig elections" and said many of the existing districts have been in place for 140 years.
"The break with long standing precedent further underscores how fundamentally unfair these lines are. We encourage everyone who cares about democracy to participate in the public comment period and voice our shared concerns about these outrageously gerrymandered maps."
“This is the first round of maps that the public is seeing, and there are still many steps left in this democratic process,” said Gov. Chris Sununu. “Like many Granite Staters, I m will look closely at these proposals and await further revisions as the redistricting process moves forward.”
The next step in the process is the committee hearing public comment on Nov. 11 and 12.