New Jersey Democrats Want Gerrymandering Written In Their Constitution

New Jersey State lawmakers are trying push a bill that appears to write gerrymandering into the state constitution. The bill has been criticized by people from both parties. The main problem with this bill is that it calls for 25% of congressional districts to be competitive. The bill considers a district “competitive” when its vote percentage is within 5% of the state’s vote percentage for president. For example, in the 2016 presidential election, the state voted 55% democrat. That would mean a “competitive district” would have to vote 50%-60% democrat in order be considered “competitive”. This would give an unfair advantage to the democrats as any district that voted republican won’t count as “competitive”. This would lead to more liberal districts in the state than conservative districts. The lawmakers are using a loophole to get this bill on the 2019 November ballot. Typically, a change in the New Jersey constitution requires 3/5th of the state legislature to approve, but the chances of the bill passing this way is slim. So the Lawmakers are using a provision. The provision states that the legislature has to vote twice on the bill, one on the same calendar year, and one on the following calendar year. Both votes have to pass in order to be placed on the November ballot, but the bill only has to pass by a slim majority. Since the month is December, the legislature can hold a vote this month, and hold another vote next month. Many people criticizing the bill have called it “undemocratic” and rightfully so.

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