Letter — Trumbull redistricting should happen after census

To the editor:

Sometimes, with all the rhetoric, details, facts and sometimes even laws get forgotten; like with redistricting.

When the last redistricting was done in 2012, it had not been done since the 1980’s, putting the Town of Trumbull in the position of breaking the law as we are required by state law to redistrict following the redrawing of state district lines.

Why should we wait for the census to be done to redistrict? Because of something called “One Person, One Vote” which was established in the 1960s, by the Supreme Court.

Trumbull should have been redistricted after the State Legislature redistricted following the 1990 and 2000 U.S. Census. It was not. This put us out of compliance and in violation of that law. Had we been sued under those conditions; Trumbull most assuredly would have lost.

Hasn’t Trumbull always been seven districts? No, actually it hasn’t.

Prior to 1982 we had four districts. Then it was changed to five. It was then changed again in 1984 from five to seven. And while the demographics of the town have surely changed, the geographic size of the town has not. Voting locations have changed a number of times and may very well do so again.

How should redistricting occur? According to state law, Trumbull should redistrict following the next redistricting of the State Legislature, which will happen after the 2020 Census numbers come out in April of 2021. Redistricting prior to that based on numbers that are 10 years old is a waste of both time and money and will most certainly violate the “One Person, One Vote” law in the 2021 election, as it will be based on 10-year-old data. Currently Trumbull is in compliance. I am not sure, regardless of what a town attorney has to say on the issue, that if challenged in court, a judge would side with Trumbull choosing to redistrict prior to the updated numbers being published.

The census results of the United States, the State of Connecticut and the Town of Trumbull are very important. And where the State Legislature chooses to draw district lines for the U.S. Congress, State Senate and State Assembly is also very important, especially if the town wants to eliminate or minimize the number of split districts.

I continue to call on the Tesoro Administration to do this right - to not violate my rights and the rights of all other voters in town under the “One Person, One Vote” law. You took an oath of office to follow the law. You may not like the set up currently but you only have to wait 1 year to change it and do it the right way.

Cindy Penkoff