George Beck testifies for HF2594

Chair George Beck’s Testimony on HF 2594 –

Few things are as important to democracy as a fair redistricting process as our sister state, Wisconsin, has illustrated. Wisconsin is one of the most gerrymandered states in our nation due to the manipulation of voting districts to benefit one political party. We must not allow that to happen in our state. Principles to govern map drawing are crucial to a fair process.

Clean Elections Minnesota, a non-partisan non-profit, supports the adoption of H.F. 2594, sponsored by Rep. Klevorn, to provide guidelines for redistricting. This bill will leave less room for partisan agendas as principles are applied and maps are drawn. In other words, these principles are voter-focused and put Minnesota voters first.

Crucially, districts must not be drawn to favor or disfavor a political party, candidate or incumbent. The location of the residences of incumbents’ or candidates’ must not be considered and the public must be afforded meaningful input into the drawing of the maps. A detailed report must provide full disclosure of the activities and judgments involved in determining legislative and Congressional districts.

The policies in H.F. 2594 would maximize the opportunity for transparency and accountability in drawing maps for our legislative and Congressional districts. These policies should not be left to an ad hoc process by our Supreme Court, but should have legislative input.

We also support the direct participation of public members on a commission which will minimize a partisan agenda. Hopefully that can be accomplished during 2022. The people of Minnesota fully recognize the conflict of interest involved in legislators picking their own districts. We want an open and honest process.

George Beck
Chair
Clean Elections Minnesota 08/25/21

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