To The Daily Sun,

In the 2020 election, New Hampshire’s First District seat was won by Chris Pappas. This is his second consecutive term in this seat. Prior to that it was Carol Shea-Porter, a Democrat, for two years.

In the previous 10 years, Republicans and Democrats had alternated winning that seat every two years. That kind of back and forth between Democratic and Republican candidates indicates that it’s a reasonably balanced district.

The redistricting we do every 10 years as a result of the national census is meant to change districts as needed to keep them fair. It does not mean that just because one party loses that their odds should be improved by gerrymandering. The democratic way to win an election is to run the best candidate with the best policies and then support that candidate.

Gerrymandering is when a district is created with a barely contiguous group of towns and areas specifically designed to aid one party or another. This is done by grouping more people from one party together in that district. That’s what the NH Republicans have said they want to do and that’s what the latest districting maps indicate.

They say that it will help NH because regardless of what party is in power nationally, NH will always have one representative in the majority, able to make a difference for NH. What they don’t say is that by doing this, they are determining in advance who will win this seat. In this case they expect a Republican to win in the First District because they are picking and choosing places with more Republicans.

This makes everyone’s vote less important. People care less about voting as they think “My vote won’t make a difference,” and they are right. When NH voters are disenfranchised and don’t vote, there is less scrutiny of candidates which leads to them being less qualified.

Keep NH strong with the best possible representation at the state and local level. Get everyone to vote and we will get the best NH has to offer, improving the lives of all NH residents.

Tell your state reps that we need fair, non-partisan district maps and ask Gov. Chris Sununu to veto any gerrymandered plan.

Jay Newton

Gilford

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