By Scott Tibbs, August 16, 2005
Some local Democrats are mocking GOP arguments that Richland and Bean Blossom townships should be in the same district. Perhaps they should seriously examine the issues instead of engage in childishness. Such partisan rancor does not contribute to reasonable and civil dialogue in what is already a politically charged (and emotional) debate.
Why shouldn't Richland and Bean Blossom townships be in the same district? They share a school corporation and are historically linked. The Richland-Bean Blossom School Corporation serves only those two townships, while MCCSC serves the rest of the county.
Van Buren Township should also be included in the same district as Richland and Bean Blossom. In my opinion, it would probably be a good idea to throw Washington Township in there as well.
I don't think requiring straight north-south lines or east-west lines is possible, because of "natural boundaries" that are not straight lines. I don't think you can split precincts either, and even if you are legally allowed to it would be a logistical problem figuring out which voter in, say, Perry 14 lives in which district. It would also be more expensive because you would need different ballots for the same precinct.
Like I said before, I will have to see the new maps before I can form an opinion on whether I support changing them. There are rumors floating around the Internet that new maps already exist and have existed for a while.
I'm not sold on the idea of redistricting at all in odd years, except for the year following the census. I agree with the H-T that it presents a big political problem in that the minority party will be strongly tempted to redistrict if and when they gain the majority. I do think, however, that the Democrats are way to shrill about this and some of their more silly arguments needed to be refuted.
I don't think this will have much of an impact on the 2006 elections. The politically informed (a small segment of the population) will get motivated by it, but I doubt most voters care too much. Even with the politically informed, can the energy created by this fight be sustained going into 2006?
However this turns out, it is going to be fun to watch.