People – Not Politicians – Should Draw Voting Maps in Oregon

“If there is one thing that all Oregonians can agree on, it’s that our votes should count. But when politicians draw their own districts, they can rig the maps to keep themselves and their party in power.  

The practice, known as gerrymandering, is as old as the Republic and has become dangerously precise in our data-driven digital age. Partisan mapmakers manipulate voting lines to protect their incumbents from challengers. Sometimes deals are negotiated with the opposing party, but party power overrides community interests – leaving voters with little chance of meaningful competition or choice. 

Today 17 states impose greater checks and balances on redistricting to prevent gerrymandering. Seven of those states, including our neighbors in California, Idaho and Washington, empower independent, citizen-led commissions to draw congressional maps. Here in Oregon, we put the foxes in charge of the henhouse. We can do better. We can ensure a community-driven process so that voters are choosing their politicians, instead of politicians choosing their voters. 

That is why Common Cause Oregon, a nonpartisan government watchdog organization, is proud to join the People Not Politicians coalition. We urge our members and Oregonians statewide to support the 2020 ballot initiative to create an independent redistricting commission and end gerrymandering.” 

Read more about People Not Politicians here.