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Minnesotans want independent, nonpartisan redistricting, LWV survey reports

A survey commissioned by the League of Women Voters shows that Minnesotans want changes in the redistricting process so that the decisions are made in an independent, nonpartisan way.

Said Laura Fredrick Wang, executive director of the League of Women Voters, Minnesota:

"For the past five censuses the Minnesota legislature has not completed its constitutional responsibility to redraw political lines. Each time the state or federal courts have had to step in to ensure fair representation. A strong majority of Minnesotans want to see the process improved, and across the board they place the most trust in a nonpartisan system."

LWV officials said that most Minnesotans trust the work judges have done on redistricting, but 61 percent "believe that a different redistricting process would give people more confidence in government."

The group said citizen-led systems like those in California and Iowa received higher marks than the current efforts in Minnesota.

Those responding listed these redistricting principles as ones they considered most important:

  • Preserving city and county boundaries
  • Not intentionally protecting or defeating incumbents
  • Ensuring fair minority representation
  • Protecting communities of interest, such as American Indian reservations, agricultural communities and the Iron Range

Wang said:

"People of all political beliefs, ages and geographic location support redesigning our redistricting process by greater than a two-to-one margin. Now is the time to start this conversation. We shouldn’t wait until 2020 to find out again that the legislature needs to shift the responsibility of redrawing the maps to the courts."

The poll was conducted Feb. 7-14; a state court panel released the new redistricting maps on Feb. 21.

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