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Create standards in redistricting

Editor, OBSERVER:

In 2013 the Supreme Court of the United States struck down many provisions of the 1965 voting rights act reasoning that enough progress had been made in certain areas that statutory protections were no longer needed.

This decision has had the effect of essentially changing from an environment where the lawmakers had to make the case that their legislation did not negatively effect voters access to the power of their vote, to a new situation where they can pass laws and see if there are any complaints.

Electoral districts are laid out based on census data and the intent should be that every vote counts equally, but the political parties have developed a system called gerrymandering which biases districts votes to support specific political parties.

Right now new district maps are being drawn based on the results of the 2020 census and partisan politicians are packing the districts in their favor. The Freedom to Vote Act establishes uniform standards for drawing district lines, streamlines the processes of approving and challenging district maps, and also has provisions to improve access to the ballot.

The right and the power of citizen’s votes is the foundation upon which our democracy rests.

We urge citizens to raise this issue with family, friends and colleagues, and to contact the Senators with support for this legislation. It is expected to come before the Senate soon.

RON PETERSON,

Fredonia

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