Under the Dome

Nonpartisan redistricting supporters resurrect dead Gov. Elbridge Gerry

Gov. Elbridge Gerry
Gov. Elbridge Gerry

Former Vice President and Massachusetts Gov. Elbridge Gerry has been dead for 200 years, but an advocacy group is bringing him back this month to lobby for nonpartisan redistricting.

The term gerrymandering is named for him because he redistricted the Massachusetts state Senate to benefit his political party in 1812. As of this month, Gerry has a Twitter account in which he lobbies to reclaim his legacy by ending the use of gerrymandering to draw district lines.

The account – and an accompanying opinion piece in Friday’s News & Observer – are authored by the N.C. Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform, which is pushing for nonpartisan redistricting in North Carolina.

The group is encouraging supporters to tweet 271st birthday wishes to the dead governor.

State legislation to create a nonpartisan redistricting reform process have drawn dozens of co-sponsors from both parties, but neither the House or Senate has held a hearing on the bills this year.

And with the legislature now turning its focus to the state budget, the bills could be as dead as Gov. Gerry.

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