In a recent Associated Press story, Rep. Jim McClendon said it’s impossible to predict from a district’s demographics how residents will vote. In the same article, Sen. Gerald Dial said jacking Sen. Vivian Figures’ district from 62 percent black to 72 percent black is what he calls “taking care of a good senator to get her re-elected.”
For 120-something years, the Legislature did what was responsible when it came to redistricting. They consulted the courts. It was the courts that maintained the delegation systems and provided for equal representation. After two years, the GOP thinks it can handle redistricting. I hate to tell you: it has dropped the ball.
The Republican plan stacks majority-minority districts in unheard-of percentages. The Republican plan has obliterated the delegation system. When a county goes from being represented by four legislators to six or seven, it is impossible for constituents and officials to maintain any sort of relationship with their “delegation.” Most of these new districts have a chunk in one county and a finger in others.
So, citizens who reside in those “fingers” can forget about hearing from their “representative.” Our only hope is to demand that the courts control redistricting and not the Republican supermajority. Tell them to shake the Etch A Sketch and let someone who knows what they’re doing handle the job. After all, they’re only freshmen.