Legitimate news organizations and reporters, the North Dakota Newspaper Association, and the North Dakota Broadcasters Association are against the secrecy of the Legislature’s redistricting proposal.

To folks that pay close attention to North Dakota politics, it’s widely understood that the legislative district map looks like a piece of modern art. The district lines have been gerrymandered so badly that they just don’t make sense. It’s not a partisan issue. It’s a transparency one!

That’s why I was quite shocked to see a recent column from Rob Port defending North Dakota legislative redistricting in your paper. Drawing the maps behind closed doors is in itself suspicious. We have to ask ourselves why is this secrecy important, who does it favor when there is no input from you, the voter? The answer my friends is simple, the incumbent.

The answer to all this is to have an independent commission fairly draw legislative district lines without partisan influence. It would help ensure that North Dakotans have the very best representation at the Capitol in Bismarck. We deserve no less.

Howard Tweeten lives in Bismarck.

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This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.