New Transparency Bill would Bring redistricting Out of Back Rooms: Statement of J. Gerald Hebert, Executive Director


The "Redistricting Transparency Act of 2010" (H.R. 4918), introduced by Rep. John Tanner (D-TN) and Rep. Michael Castle (R-DE), will bring the redrawing of congressional districts into the light of day. The secretive process employed in too many states has left citizens in the dark while legislators handpick the voters that will be their constituency. This gerrymandering, with politicians choosing voters instead of voters choosing their elected officials, is a grave disservice to our democracy and feeds the bitter partisanship and dysfunction on Capitol Hill.

With the next round of redistricting soon to begin after the 2010 census, it is no secret that both parties at the state and federal level are already assembling armies of lawyers, experts and massive resources to manipulate the redistricting process for partisan gain. All too often, this partisan gaming of the process comes to light after the voters have been chosen and the district lines drawn. This bill opens up the redistricting process to effective public participation and transparency.

The Tanner-Castle bill deserves broad bipartisan support, public attention, and a hearing - something that has been denied to numerous past efforts to reform the system. This legislation is not written to benefit Democrats or Republicans; it is written to benefit the American people. Members of Congress were sent to Washington to enact laws that protect us and promote the general welfare of our nation. There is no better example of a law that does just that than the "Redistricting Transparency Act of 2010."

To read the bill, click here.