Making redistricting more open and transparent in Delaware
Delaware lawmakers return to Leg Hall this fall to determine legislative district lines for the next ten years.
And this year, community advocates want to ensure the process is open and transparent, so Delawareans have a say in who represents them.
Delaware Public Media’s Roman Battaglia talks with Kyra Hoffner, who’s spearheading a new effort by the League of Women Voters to help citizens connect with state lawmakers as they draw new district lines.
The League of Women Voters of Delaware is making a big push to highlight communities of interest, or groups of people that share common issues or beliefs.
The league’s Kyra Hoffner says they’re trying to make it easy for regular citizens.
“The way we’re collecting these communities of interest is gonna be an eye-opener for the legislators and give them a chance to address the issues that they’re not hearing from their constituents about.”
Delawareans can draw their own maps and share their reasons why their community should be protected through a national platform called Representable.
Hoffner says people can submit comments directly to legislators, but having the League as a middle-man can help translate for both sides, and be a stronger advocate than one individual.
She says people can submit their own maps to her, and they’re especially looking for communities routinely cut up in previous years.
“A community is submitted to us that is already protected and has been kept together, that’s gonna go toward the bottom of the list. But the ones that have been cut up a lot; we want legislators to know to pay attention to those right away.”
Hoffner says lawmakers are signaling a willingness to be more transparent in the process this year, giving the League and others a chance to ensure lines drawn for the next ten years are fair, and give all Delawareans a chance to be represented.
Hoffner adds she hopes momentum built this year doesn’t fade, and an independent redistricting committee is created next year, a move proposed before, but blocked by lawmakers.
With the public more aware of the redistricting process, Hoffner says that could help get that kind of legislation through Leg Hall.