Princeton Public Library will host talk on the redistricting and gerrymandering of NJ legislative districts

Helen Kioukis of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey gives a talk on
redistricting in the fall of 2018.

Helen Kioukis of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey will give a presentation on the redistricting and gerrymandering of legislative boundaries in New Jersey on Monday, March 25, at the Princeton Public Library. The program will begin at 7 p.m. in the library community room.

Kioukis, who serves as lead organizer for the league’s Fair Districts New Jersey Campaign, will discuss how boundaries are drawn, who draws them, and whether the process needs to be reformed.

Ingrid Reed, former director of the New Jersey Project at Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute of Politics, will serve as the moderator for the event.

The Fair Districts New Jersey Campaign is the League of Women Voters of New Jersey’s initiative to reform the state’s redistricting. The League of Women Voters believes that redistricting should be impartial and transparent, and should maximize public input and put the power in the hands of the voters. Redistricting is happening in 2021.

In December, New Jersey Democrats scrapped plans to vote on a proposal to overhaul how legislative districts are drawn after numerous voter advocacy groups criticized the plan. Protesters gathered outside the state house in Trenton to voice their opposition to the proposal. The plan would have required the redistricting commission to draw district boundaries based on statewide election results for president, U.S. Senate and governor. Kioukis and others said such a plan using past voter data to manipulate district boundary lines would predetermine election outcomes for decades to come.

Voters in four states have approved ballot measures to rein in partisan gerrymandering.