CONCORD — Today, Governor Sununu vetoed HB 706, a bill that would have created an independent redistricting commission in New Hampshire. New Hampshire had the opportunity to be the first state where the legislature chose to implement the commission rather than being forced to through a ballot measure. Representative Marjorie Smith (D-Durham), prime sponsor of the legislation, released the following statement: “I am devastated that today the Governor chose to veto bipartisan legislation to create an independent redistricting commission in New Hampshire. There is no better example of improving our democracy than was demonstrated in this bill. Both the House and Senate Election Law Committees passed this bill with unanimous bipartisan support and the full Senate passed it on a voice vote. Only the House Minority Leader and Governor Sununu worked to keep their party’s best interest above the best interest of Granite Staters. Today the Governor chose to ignore the bipartisan action of the legislature and deny voters the right to choose who they would like to vote for, and he should be ashamed of himself for doing so.”
For his part Gov. Sununu wrote in his veto message that he did not believe gerrymandering was a problem in New Hampshire. He stated that the existing redistricting process was “fair and representative of the people of our State.” Sununu observed that a “partisan out-of-state organization” that was lobbying for passage of HB 706 stated publicly that it was their purpose to redistrict states in a way that was favorable to Democrats, which he believes undermines the stated purpose of the bill.