Robinson: BOC Redistricting Map Action 'A Slap in the Face'
The procedural argument that politicians have the right to write [redistricting] maps to ensure they are re-elected–at the expense of vote dilution of a population based upon race, color, or membership in one of the language minority groups is prohibited.
Douglas County Board of Commissioner Kelly Robinson today released the following statement regarding the indecision this week by the U.S. Department of Justice to grant Douglas County pre-clearance on the Re-Districting Maps submitted in association with the 2010 Census and the BOC’s decision to still use the map in 2012 Primary.
“Though the public hearing commencement map approved by Douglas County’s Board of Commissioners along party lines was not denied nor approved, their [DOJ] request for additional information and another 60 days to render their decision reinforces the role the DOJ has played since the Voting Rights Act was put into law: hold accountable those responsible for ensuring compliance of “one person, one vote” as afforded by the law. This holds true for those States and their jurisdictions that have a history of abridging the rights of certain voters.
This inaction by the Justice Department clearly sends a message of the need for clarity, caution or concern on their part. The demand for additional information on the “process” in which the Board of Commissioners took to arrive at the proposed map is at the core of this delay.
The exposure of parlor tactics of waiting to the last minute to shot gun a map through the County’s BOC, as well as other approval channels – in light of the impending election is to be applauded. Clearly, rubber stamp philosophies enable egregious, insensitive acts against citizens to occur when it assumes no one understands or cares about motives or impacts.
Notably, the procedural argument that politicians have the right to write [redistricting] maps to ensure they are re-elected – at the expense of vote dilution of a population based upon race, color, or membership in one of the language minority groups is prohibited – permanently by law.
Now, the BOC has chosen, without vote, to use the same re-districting map that has not been given pre-clearance by the DOJ – implying the BOC believes it has power to over-ride the authority of the Justice Department itself and force its hand to accept the proposed map as is. This type of action is deplorable and a slap in the face of four decades of struggle, sweat, tears, and death – to vote fairly. The American justice system should be respected and trusted. Roughly 33,000 citizens have some degree of exposure to a hindrance to know and vote in this upcoming 2012 primary election. We live in a country with capabilities to conduct popular votes on TV, internet and on our phone – every week with millions of votes and simple outcomes. Yet, the power structure of American government is still wrought with the seedlings of injustice of yesteryear, the need to manipulate voting in order to maintain control – of resources, people.”