Rich Lowry’s column of July 19 praises the new voting laws in Georgia. He claims Biden’s concerns are distorted. He claims that many of the provisions have “sensible rationales.”
However, he omits the two greatest threats to democratic elections in the law: the failure to address gerrymandering, and the provision that allows the state legislature to control the election process. This is true for bills in Texas and other states, as well.
California has solved the problem of gerrymandering by setting up a special commission comprised of a cross-section of the populace — political party affiliation, as well as racial, geographical and personal/professional and gender demographics. The result is districts that make sense, in which “the voters choose their representatives, vs. the representatives choosing their voters.”
The members of the commission have vowed to be impartial. Their goal is to draw district maps to be roughly the same size in population and contiguous, among other factors. Take a look at district maps in Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania and North Carolina for egregious examples of the opposite approach. Provisions to end gerrymandering and require unbiased commissions such as in California are part of the voting rights bills before Congress that the GOP members soundly reject.
As to the second travesty, allowing state legislatures to essentially overturn an election if they don’t like the outcome, the answer to that should be obvious — at least to anyone who values democracy and not just personal power.
— Deborah Hand, former mayor, city of Tehachapi