The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Redistricting quarrel must stop

By Bethany Peterson/editor-in-chief

While the rest of the country is voting in primaries and moving forward in the elections, Texas is stuck squabbling over maps.

Every 10 years, voting maps all across the country must be redrawn to ensure equal representation of every person.

Of course, there is the usual political jockeying, accusations and bargaining, too.

Since Texas’ population increased 20 percent since the last census, we received four additional seats in the House of Representatives. Hispanics made up more than half the increase.

The mostly Republican Texas Legislature, of course, drew maps favoring Republican candidates. The maps would have added only one heavily Hispanic district.

A coalition of Hispanic interests sued to increase the number of districts they dominate, and Democrats want a piece of the pie.

The debate has been raging since last summer. The primary date has been postponed twice, and the newest ruling says the vote may happen in late May.

Maybe.

All the while, Texas’ ability to influence the presidential election is slipping with every delay.

Equal representation is important enough to go through all the debating, finagling and making sure it is right. It is the elements of childishness leaving me irritated and exasperated.

I can’t help but think of the “Great Compromises” that were the hallmark of the U.S. government in the past, the Connecticut and Missouri compromises for example, when the preservation of unity and progress were more important than who could boast on the evening news.

The entire redistricting process has abandoned attempts to draw districts reflecting a given area. It is, instead, a power struggle with the goal of gaining an advantage over a perceived “opponent.”

Government, while not a unanimous group, should not be entrenched in a battlefield where casualties and weapons are measured.

The goal is a strong, safe and prosperous country. Yes, there are differences and quarrels, but to turn the drawing of a map into a drawn-out hissing match shows a lack of willingness to sit down and hammer out a true compromise that best serves the entire public or, in other words, to do their job.

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