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States must address issue of gerrymandering

Since the U.S. Supreme Court recently decided it should not get involved in gerrymandering issues, it is up to the states to settle the question when one political party tries to redraw legislative or congressional boundaries to perpetuate its own advantage.

Minnesota is currently the only state in the union with split party control of its Legislature — Democrats control the House while Republicans control the Senate. Gov. Tim Walz is a Democrat as well. So we are unlikely to see the kind of tortuously drawn legislative lines designed to minimize the impact of one party, or give an unfair advantage to the other. But that could change with the 2020 state legislative election, and the next Legislature would take on redistricting in 2021.

So, what can we, or any state, do to ensure that political boundaries are drawn with the principle of one person, one vote in mind, and not perpetuating partisan power?

We could take it out of the hands of the politicians. That, of course, would involve legislators passing laws to reduce their power, an unlikely event. But if politicians could be persuaded to do the right thing, turning the job of redrawing district boundaries could be turned over to a non-partisan panel of experts designed to ensure fair elections for all.

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