Coalition applauds House passage of bill that would switch order of redistricting and reprecincting
BOSTON – The Drawing Democracy Coalition today issued the following statement in response to the passage of An Act Relative to Reprecincting (H.3863) in the Massachusetts State House of Representatives.
“The delayed release of the 2020 Census data has made redistricting more difficult, but H.3863 is a modest, common sense change that will make both redistricting and reprecincting better for voters and local officials. The current timeline gives municipalities an unrealistically short time period in which to redraw precinct lines,” said Geoff Foster, Steering Committee Member of the Drawing Democracy Coalition and Executive Director of Common Cause Massachusetts. “H.3863 simply switches the timeline so that reprecincting occurs after redistricting, which will give town clerks and city election officials more time to conduct reprecincting. In an unprecedented and delayed cycle, this will empower voters to know their electoral districts as soon as possible and empower municipalities by providing adequate time to draw precincts.
“The change proposed in H.3863 will also ensure that the Special Joint Committee on Redistricting has the flexibility needed to increase political power in BIPOC and immigrant communities. We applaud the House for passing this essential bill and we urge the Senate to pass it and Governor Baker to sign it into law without delay to ensure that the redistricting process is effective, fair and equitable.”
The Drawing Democracy Coalition brings together Massachusetts’ community organizations, civil rights lawyers, public policy advocates, data and mapping experts, and political scientists with the shared goal of ensuring that underrepresented communities have the opportunity to elect candidates of their choice who best reflect their needs and interests.