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Republicans keeping Meredith from having its own House reps

  • Published in Letters

To the editor,

All Meredith voters owe a sincere thanks to Governor Lynch for his veto on Friday of the House redistricting bill. In fact, the Governor specifically mentioned Meredith in his remarks as one of the towns that have “sufficient population under state and federal constitutional standards to have their own representative, but are denied their representative under the House-approved plan.” The plan sent to the governor proposed that Meredith and Gilford share ...

To the editor,

All Meredith voters owe a sincere thanks to Governor Lynch for his veto on Friday of the House redistricting bill. In fact, the Governor specifically mentioned Meredith in his remarks as one of the towns that have “sufficient population under state and federal constitutional standards to have their own representative, but are denied their representative under the House-approved plan.” The plan sent to the governor proposed that Meredith and Gilford share their state reps; a plan that denies adequate representation to voters in two towns.

Redistricting occurs every 10 years to reflect the demographic shifts documented by the census. By law, towns that are within 5-percent of the ideal population (arrived at by dividing the population by the number of House seats) are entitled to their own representative. Under the 2010 census, that ideal number is 3291 which entitles 152 towns to their own state rep. However, the House plan deprives 62 towns, including Meredith, of its own representative and breaks up cities and wards into smaller units.

The N.H. House had numerous plans under consideration which would have complied with state and federal requirements and would have given N.H. voters their constitutionally guaranteed representation. But the House leadership refused to offer its support and sent this unconstitutional plan to the governor’s desk.

What happens next remains to be seen. If the governor’s veto is overridden, the plan will probably be challenged in court. If his veto is sustained, either the courts, the Secretary of State or the legislature could come up with a constitutional plan.

Playing chicken with N.H. voters’ constitutional right to equal representation is simply wrong. The deadline for candidates to file for election to the House is June. Let’s hope that this issue is resolved quickly and fairly so that all voters in all towns throughout N.H. can depend on full representation in the legislature.

Kate Miller

Meredith