Please consider this an open letter written to the N.H. Redistricting Committee.

As legislators that have represented the towns of Troy and Marlborough in the N.H. House, we are writing to remind the N.H. Redistricting Committee that both these towns have recently passed warrant articles calling on their committee to draw fair lines that reflect the citizens of our communities.

There is no denial that state-appointed redistricting commissions across the country too often put the needs of their party above the needs of the people. Redistricting by state-appointed commissions has come to mean further consolidation of power by deeper gerrymandering in red and blue states alike.

This explains the growth of independent redistricting commissions, already used by 16 states. Our own governor’s recent rejection of an independent commission is a blot on our free elections. This is well within the power of our state-appointed N.H. Redistricting Committee to correct, merely by rejecting partisanship and transparently drawing fair and independent redistricting lines that will stand up to judicial scrutiny.

We applaud the listening sessions held in all 10 counties and urge you to repeat those sessions once redistricting lines are drawn, believing that the engagement of the voters is imperative in confirming the authority of our legislators. A winner-take-all strategy means nothing if our democracy is destroyed in the process.

To quote John Adams on representative assembly: “It should be in miniature, an exact portrait of the people at large … Great care should be taken to effect this, and to prevent unfair, partial, and corrupt elections.”

We thank you for undertaking this important task and urge you to look further than the next election, and to the future of our great state of New Hampshire.

LUCIUS PARSHALL

Marlborough

(Also: Anna Tilton of Keene, Marge Shepardson of Marlborough and Sandy Swinburne of Marlborough)