Letter — Bipartisan commission should re-establish voting districts

To the editor:

The current administration is well on their way to implementing their promise to return to seven voting districts from four.

Personally I don’t much care how many we have. But there are things I do care about: Fairness, honesty and being done right, not based on a predetermined deadline.

Let’s consider being done right and honestly. We are in “the” census year. Redistricting counts will be provided to the state in April of 2021, by law. I think that is important information for doing this process right, honestly and fairly to all.

Mrs. Tesoro’s administration says this is one of the reasons this is being done - fairness. That and their insistence that you, the voters living in a small town, don’t want to drive an extra 2 or 3 minutes to your polling place to exercise your Constitutional right. They claim voter turn out is down.

But do the numbers support this administration’s claim? In reality, they do not. If you look at the voting numbers, broken down by president, governor and local elections, the numbers have varied up and down, but not consistently down. Then if you look at who was running in those years, it makes perfect sense why they fluctuated.

It is not due to Trumbull voters’ inability or unwillingness to spend an extra few minutes doing their duty. It had a great deal to do with the candidates and what was referred to, in those very few years that it was lower, as voter apathy.

In the other cases, when they shot up, how unhappy or passionate people were, as shown in 2016 with the election of President Trump and the re-election of President Obama in 2012. Locally, in 2013, when Tim Herbst was running for re-election against Martha Mark, voter turnout dipped. This had nothing to do with voters having to drive an extra mile to the polls. It was simply a “why bother” moment.

Now, before anyone gets all twisted, Martha is my friend and I like her, but if we are honest, she was no match for a Herbst re-election campaign and everyone knew it.

Lastly, let’s do this honestly, in a bipartisan fashion. At some point along the way we must all start to walk the walk that we continue to talk. And the one thing Republicans and Democrats continue to say is they are doing what they believe is best and demanded by the residents of the town. What could be more fundamental than doing what is right in order for the voters to exercise their rights?

So I am calling on First Selectman Tesoro and the Town Council to do what is fair, honest and right. Appoint a bipartisan commission equally divided to re-establish the voting districts in our small town. Something her predecessor did not do and her party complained about.

Equal representation.

It’s time for everyone, to walk the walk.

Cindy Penkoff