Local and state branches of the League of Women Voters will hold a forum Nov. 20 to discuss gerrymandering in the process of redistricting and how it can affect election outcomes at the state and national levels.
The event is at 1:30 p.m. in the new wing in the Curry Public Library, 94341 Third St. Gold Beach.
According to local LOWV president Lucy LaBonté, the redistricting process takes place a year after the census, in 2020, to realign voter districts with population changes.
But it’s susceptible to tweaking — by both parties — to redraw the lines to make votes come out in their favor.
The forum will address the current problems in the system and what the league proposes to reform them. Guest speakers include organizer Candalynn Johnson and Oregon’s LOWV President Norman Turrill.
According to the state LOWV, Oregon is among many states where partisan elected officials “may be tempted to distort the districts they represent for their personal or partisan advantage,” their press release said. Many of these proposed plans have been rejected by various courts in the nation.
“When legislators have control of where the lines get drawn, voters allow a system where gerrymandering can take priority over fair representation,” the press release said. “The league supports redistricting reform that promotes putting the process of redistricting back into the hands of voters to create fair and representative districts.”
“The League of Women Voters of Oregon supports redistricting reform because voters should be choosing their representatives, not representatives choosing their voters,” Turrill said.
“Redistricting affects you,” LaBonté wrote in a LOWV newsletter. “This is an (opportunity) to talk about how the league is moving forward in advocating for fair representation, competitive districts and a system that prevents abuse.”
Any reform in Oregon would require an amendment to the state Constitution to create an independent redistricting commission with criteria for drawing district boundaries.
“This is what the (state and national league’s) redistricting position calls for and what the LWVOR is advocating for,” the newsletter said.
For more information, contact LWVOR campaign coordinator Candalynn Johnson at Candalynn@lwvor.org .
What: League of Women Voter forum
Subject: Gerrymandering and redistricting
When: 1:30 p.m. Nov. 20
Where: Curry Public Library, Gold Beach
More info: Candalynn@lwvor.org