Does Vermont need more one-seat districts? Or is the current mix of one and two-seat districts working okay? Which legislative map is more responsive to the will of the voters?
The Vermont Legislative Reapportionment Board wants to know what you think. It has published a brief survey to gather your opinion. For example, here’s one of the 11 questions:
- Regarding House representation in state government, do you prefer single member house districts (one Representative representing 4300 people), or two member house districts (two Representatives in a single district representing 8600 people).
- I prefer two member districts.
- I prefer single member districts.
- I have no preference.
Citizen participation matters because of what’s at stake. As late as the 1960’s, the Vermont House of Representatives was a “One Town, One Representative” body. Literally every town had an equal say in state legislation. Electoral reform changed that policy to districts based on equal numbers of population, currently about 4300 people per representative. Some larger towns and cities are represented by one or more two-seat districts. Critics of these two-seat districts say they tend to concentrate political power to political parties and away from voters and independent candidates.
Legislative reapportionment board members include:
Robert Roper, email@example.com – Stowe
Ed Adrian, firstname.lastname@example.org – Burlington
Jeanne Albert, email@example.com – Lincoln
Jeremy Hansen, firstname.lastname@example.org – Berlin
Mary Houghton, email@example.com – Brattleboro
Tom Koch, firstname.lastname@example.org – Barre
Here is the survey link: