Las Vegas Sun

October 2, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Tea Party not to blame for districts

In reading Joe Nocera’s column published Nov. 8 in the Sun (“Fixing our electoral system”), I found his fixes interesting, although I did not care for his little partisan jab at the Tea Party. His complaint about gerrymandering affecting elections is something that has been brought up a number of times, for over 150 years before the Tea Party movement existed.

Gerrymandering is, in fact, one of the key components that keeps the Democrats and Republicans in power. It gives these two parties the power to drown out or divide any challengers from third parties. Whichever party controls the state legislature at the time when the district lines are to be redrawn will redraw them to their advantage. That is why we all have these ridiculously shaped districts to live in.

Although I applaud the idea of ending gerrymandering districts, I would question the wisdom of having the two major parties carrying two thirds of the vote in drawing them up. This, it would seem, just allows the Democrats and Republicans to collude to keep themselves in the driver’s seat.

Instead, I think we should come up with a simple formula for drawing up districts and then put it up for a statewide referendum for approval.

Aside from this, however, I found his suggestions quite good.

With all the early voting going on, I am not sure that moving Election Day would have any effect on turnout. But it can’t hurt.

I would suggest that we require that any proposed ballots must carry over 50 percent of the registered voters, not just the actual votes, to be passed. This may encourage the ballot supporters and candidates to either get out the vote or clean up the list of registered voters.

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