Every decade, after the full U.S. census, voting districts must be readjusted to better reflect the changing populations of the voting public. Unfortunately, because redistricting has the potential to skew the balance of party influence in a given district the process often becomes highly contentious and partisan.
There were several bills introduced to address that issue HB 211, SB 4, SB 15, and SB 199. The outcome of these bills, and the subsequent process, will be interesting for many reasons. Namely, to see if special interests and partisan politics will overshadow the critical need for fair and balanced electoral boundaries.
Is there a concern of partisan gerrymandering during the redistricting process? Yes, and here’s why. Following the sole Republican Congressional win, Speaker Egolf said, “So this is the last election for New Mexico’s 2nd Cong. District with a map that looks like it looks now. So next time it’ll be a different district and we’ll have to see what that means for Republican chances to hold it.”
In consideration of SB 15, Speaker Egolf slammed it because it proposed an independent commission, arguing it could undermine the pursuit of progressive priorities. He later said he supports the new version and intends to sign on as a co-sponsor according to a spokesman.