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Redrawing Political Districts

By Ken Poland
Opinion | March 23, 2012

COLBY, Kan. - Kansas is one of the last states to get in compliance with voting district realignment to give equal representation.

What seems to be the problem?

Either start in the northeast corner of the state, or the southwest corner and start counting residents. Draw the lines as near as possible to match county lines. If possible keep entire cities in the same district. They have census records to easily determine populations by counties, cities, and townships. A grade school math class could get the boundaries figured out within a few class periods. If not, they might need a new math teacher and someone to show them how to read maps. Surely, by the time you get elected to the state legislature, you have leaned to add and read simple maps.

But, that grade school class might not know the political registrations and care whether incumbents are jeopardized by their redistricting. To figure all those statistics might be a little more challenging. Our legislators are trying desperately to protect incumbents, who are republican and trying to maintain the decidedly safe republican districts. The republicans have a big challenge for the conservatives, who are in the majority for their party, to try getting more conservatives and fewer moderates.

It would really take some hop scotch gaming to make any district a safe democratic haven. But, with a little effort it isn't too hard to break up any strong democratic leaning area to make it safe for republicans. Is that what's taking them so long?

I'm well aware of the fact that democrats are guilty of the same gerrymandering games, when they are in the majority. That doesn't make it right!


3 Comments

When the Democrats are guilty of this the Republicans have every right to speak up and criticize it just as you do Mr. Poland.


You are absolutely correct! But, that doesn't seem to change things. Neither party seems to have a corner on ethics.


The problem could be solved with a non-partisan committee to draw the maps. Of course, that means neither party would have the advantage, so that's not going to happen. I just hope the moderate Republicans can keep Brenda Landwehr out of Jean Schodorf's district.

One of my friends has decided to run for the state legislature, but she can't do anything right now until those districts get settled.


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