Elected officials shouldn’t be determining voting districts. Voters should.

·4 min read
Travis Long/tlong@newsobserver.com

Right to vote

Why should elected officials determine voting districts? In some states, everyday citizens in equal numbers, Republican and Democrat, comprise commissions to determine voting district boundaries.

Should elected officials determine our voters or should voters determine who gets elected?

Gerrymandering has discriminated against the Republican Party and more recently against the Democratic Party. Let’s rid North Carolina of discrimination against any political party because tides turn.

Stand up for fair voting districts, easily accessible polls, election officials loyal to the Constitution, and a national holiday on Election Day to honor and facilitate our right to vote.

Talmage Dobbins, Mebane

Confusing ruling

Regarding “NC can go ahead with political maps, court rules in win for GOP ahead of 2022 midterms,” (Jan. 12)

I am perplexed at the recent ruling by the three N.C. Superior Court judges in the gerrymandering case. Here’s my understanding of it: Everything done was wrong. But the mess that was created used proper mess-making techniques, so it was OK.

Does this mean that the result doesn’t matter so long as the deed was done in a proper way? So if I case a joint, and have an excellent get-away driver, does that mean the subsequent robbery will be excused because of my meticulous planning? I would have to think so, especially if one of those three is the judge.

Ron Perkinson, Sanford

Raleigh Council

The citizens of Raleigh are blessed to have what appears to be an omniscient City Council, which seems to obviate the need for citizen input.

Being omniscient, there seemed to be no need to solicit citizen input when council members extended their terms of office for a year, eliminating runoffs which would have provided citizen input.

They abolished Citizen Advisory Councils because who needs them when the council is omniscient?

Now, the council has decided to give new 95-gallon yard-waste carts to the entire city in June without citizen input.

Is a disengaged electorate best for Raleigh’s future?

Alan Tharp, Raleigh

Mitch McConnell

Sen. Mitch McConnell is crying hypocrisy about changing the Senate rules. It wasn’t too long ago that he himself changed the rules to deny President Obama a Supreme Court nominee because it was a year before an election.

Then, he changed the rules so Donald Trump could sneak in a Supreme Court justice appointment weeks before the 2020 election. McConnell also changed the rules to have her voted in on the 50 partisan votes he seems to now hate.

And, shortly after Jan. 6, 2021 McConnell said Trump was responsible for the Capitol riot. Two weeks later, he symbolically kissed the king’s ring when he said nothing really serious happened Jan. 6.

Talk about “smoke and mirrors.” Hypocrisy, thy name is Mitch McConnell.

Randall Jones, Chapel Hill

Congress

Members of Congress and the Senate voice objections to just about any piece of legislation that comes across their desks. Compromise and friendliness across party lines are memories from the past.

Yet, within this “No way” culture, Biden gets the blame for lack of progress or for fulfillment of campaign promises.

The answer cannot always be resounding “no,” if new and needed legislation is to come about. Senator No and his many and like-minded siblings will get us nowhere.

It’s frustrating also to think that I contribute via my tax payments to their salaries. I am an unhappy enabler supporting this do-nothing Congress.

Deborah Brogden, Raleigh

US Senate

Regarding the recent filibuster vote in the U.S. Senate.... We pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, one country, indivisible. We do not pledge to Alabama, Maine, North Carolina. We are citizens of the USA, not individual states.

Republican and Democratic senators who will not stand up for this indivisible country (Richard Burr and Thom Tillis included), have joined the list of spineless cowards who have from time to time turned their backs on democracy, their constituents, and posterity.

This country is facing its greatest threat since 1860. We now have a U.S. Senate and a U.S. Supreme Court that appear to be aligned against the overwhelming majority of this country’s citizens. Force of arms tried to dissolve our union in the past, now it’s being done without a shot fired — only the word ”No.”

Peter d’Entremont, Durham

Mad at Microsoft

Regarding “Microsoft’s Activision buy could shake up gaming,” (Jan. 20):

I am appalled and angry at Microsoft for spending nearly $70 billion for the video game company Activision Blizzard.

Just think of the good that huge amount of money could do for this beleaguered world: water systems for people, animals and crops where there are none, indoor bathrooms for many Native Americans on reservations, food for starving people worldwide, schools for girls, and boys, who are without them. There are so many more critical issues to help solve. The priority of gaming for more profit by Microsoft is vulgar to me.

Jane Fast, Durham