Opinion: Gerrymandering causes the opposite of free and fair elections


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In November 2010, the Congressional representative for Lawrence Township (District 12) Rush Holt (D) defeated his challenger, Scott Sipprelle (R), in a very tight race.

Following the election, District 12 was completely gerrymandered, turning a competitive congressional district into a non-competitive Democratic win in November 2012 for Holt and in November 2014 through November 2020 for his Democratic successor, Bonnie Watson Coleman.

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Fast forward to November 2020 in which Andrew Kim (D) won an extremely close, competitive election in NJ Congressional District 3 over his challenger, incumbent Tom MacArthur (R).

One year later in December 2021, Congressional District 3 was completely gerrymandered in favor of the Democrats by removing GOP strongholds in Ocean County.

Lawrence Township was also “transferred” from Congressional District 12 to District 3. Thus, Andrew Kim is now our Congressional representative and not Bonnie Watson Coleman anymore.

This gerrymandering was orchestrated by a Democratic political consulting firm, Princeton Gerrymandering Project. The judge who presided over this hustle, a Democratic appointee, accepted this verdict with no objection.

So now, in the span of less than 12 years, Lawrence Township has been deprived of a competitive Congressional race twice through gerrymandering. Yes, when you now vote for your representative to the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., you won’t have to stay up late at night worrying about whether your candidate won or lost. If it’s a Democrat he/she will win and if it’s a Republican he/she will lose.

At the current time, our president and all his fellow Democratic members of the House and Senate decry the failure of our voting system to provide fair elections – because the GOP wants to make sure voter ID is used. You know, the same ID from a driver’s license or other source that we all need to get on a plane, register with a new doctor, get a library card and another 50 or so other uses during each year.

Our Democratic representatives are so worried that we can’t have free and fair elections, but they have no problem taking aggressive action to turn competitive Congressional districts – like Lawrence Township is in – and turn them into landslides going forward for Democrats.

The hypocrisy is mind-boggling.

Ira L. Marks

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