Hansell: Politicians can’t keep politics out of redistricting

By on Wednesday, October 13th, 2021 in Columbia Basin News Columbia Basin Top Stories

Athena – State Sen. Bill Hansell (R-Athena) was optimistic when he began his term on the Senate Redistricting Committee that the lawmakers could keep politics out of the picture in drawing new lines based on 2020 Census figures. He says he was wrong.

“Having gone through it now, I would be supportive of an independent commission of some type,” he said.

He said he’s talked to peers in other states who use independent commissions, and has found there are many ways of doing that.

“The goal is to take the politics out of the selection and with the legislature doing it, it ends up in my opinion of being the most political activity that we ever do because it sets the stage for the elected districts for the next 10 years,” he said. “It’s the most political thing we do and to say that we can do it without bringing politics into it is virtually an impossibility in my opinion.”