Respect the voters?

In a Roanoke Times article today, Rep. Morgan Griffith said gerrymandering his 9th Congressional District to include Salem – where he lives – would respect the wishes of the district’s voters.

Uh, sure.

Griffith took a fair amount of heat for running for a district that he didn’t live in, though he offered assurances that his friends in the General Assembly would take care of that little issue with redistricting. And, sure enough, the proposed map offered by the Republican House of Delegates carves Salem into the 9th District. “The voters looked at the values that I stood for and the positions that I took and they voted for me,” Griffith said. “Obviously, they did not see Salem as being alien to the 9th District.”

Yes, certainly. Since a majority of the conservative 9th Congressional District voted for a Republican over a Democrat in a Republican sweep year – a Democrat who had been subjected to an unprecedented barrage of negative advertising paid for by outside interest groups – it certainly makes sense to put Salem in the same congressional district as Abingdon, Va., rather than neighboring Roanoke.

This year’s redistricting process, it is increasingly clear, has absolutely nothing to do respecting the voters and everything with accommodating incumbents. Voters should not be pleased, and they should remember in November.

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