New district is logical herePosted Wednesday, October 19, 2011, at 8:56 AM
In terms of local voters, the new proposed Legislative District 23 makes a lot of sense.
It never really made much sense to lump the old legislative district of Elmore County with Boise County. The only road directly linking the two counties together, over James Creek Summitt, is usually closed for several months out of the year, and it wasn't paved in the first place. Furthermore, there really wasn't much of a "community of interest" between Boise and Elmore counties -- not a great deal of commerce or contact between the two areas.
There is, however, a strong community of interest between Elmore County and eastern Owyhee County, which would be part of the proposed new District 23. Grand View and Bruneau are far more closely tied to Mountain Home than they are to even the larger cities in Owyhee County. There are commercial and personal ties between those cities and Elmore County.
So the district makes a lot of sense from our point of view. In fact, overall, the new (second) redistricting commission seems to have done a good job, avoiding political gerrymandering and simply trying to come up with the best map possible given the realities of population on the ground. It isn't perfect, but that's probably not possible.
Overall, it seems like something the state could live with, and locally, it's a good plan.
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