Uncategorized

Why does a diverse group of Oregon’s political interests want to take redistricting out of the legislature’s hands?

After years of trying, Norman Turrill of Portland thought he had finally made some progress in preventing Oregon politicians from picking their voters. 

In 2017, then-Secretary of State Dennis Richardson invited Turrill to serve on a task force aimed at reforming how the state draws its legislative and congressional districts.

Every 10 years, the Legislature is tasked with adjusting the state’s legislative and congressional districts to account for changes in population. The process is highly political as lawmakers draw a map that could give an advantage to incumbents or their political party.

Richardson’s task force described Oregon as “susceptible to political manipulation” and concluded that the system was “defective and should be overhauled.” The task force proposed giving the job to an independent commission, taking it out of the hands of politicians.

“When the legislature . . .