Oregon Senate Democrats rammed through partisan gerrymandered redistricting plans that will rig elections for the next decade. The Congressional Plan, by far the most egregious, creates 5 solidly Democratic districts. This would give Democrats control of 86% of Oregon’s congressional delegation, despite Oregonians never giving Democrats 86% of the vote in contested elections.
“I believe the plan that was passed violated the law by not following the criteria,” said Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend), vice-chair of the Senate Redistricting Committee. “They must do logical and legal gymnastics to justify pairing the rural and urban communities that they lumped together. No matter how Democrats try to spin it, the only reason to spread downtown Portland into three districts is to silence the voices of rural communities.”
Senate Republicans spoke about the problems with the Democrats’ proposed redistricting plan on the Senate floor, referencing hours of public testimony in opposition to gerrymandering.
“As written, this plan will rig the next 10 years of election to favor Democrats,” Senator Republican Leader Fred Girod (R-Lyons) said. “Fifty percent of Oregon’s congressional representatives will serve the City of Portland, but only 15% of Oregon’s population live in Portland. The urban-rural divide will continue to grow wider under this plan. Today the Democratic politicians decided it was more important that they pick their voters than voters pick their representatives. This partisan process proves that the legislature cannot be trusted to draw these lines in the future. The majority party will always look out for themselves. Oregonians deserve better than that.”
The redistricting plans will now be considered by the House.
–Ben Fisher, Northwestern Observer
Date: 2021-09-22 02:36