RED BANK – The Bayshore Tea Party group filed a civil action in the state’s Superior Court to challenge the validity of the recently-approved New Jersey Legislative District Map.
The group, which said they were joined by 38 other plaintiffs from the state’s 21 counties, claims the map violates the federal and New Jersey constitutions. The group contends that the map unfairly penalizes South Jersey voters by including them in more heavily-populated districts, diluting the impact of their votes.
“This lawsuit is crucial to protect the longstanding ‘one person, one vote’ principle,” said Barbara Gonzalez, founder of Bayshore Tea Party Group. “I hope our diligence will raise voter awareness of the voters of New Jersey to recognize the value of their vote.”
The group also objected to the new map dividing Jersey City and Newark into two districts. Previous maps had split the cities into three districts, allowing them to be represented by nine legislators instead of just six.
“We are extremely confident in the constitutionality of the recently adopted map, which underwent a through review by not only our attorneys, but former Attorney General John Farmer, who served as counsel to the 11th member of the commission,” said Asm. John Wisniewski, the Democratic co-chair of the re-districting commission.
“This is a map that not only met traditional redistricting criteria but improved upon compactness, competitiveness and one-person, one-vote standards and will ultimately be found constitutional.”
Before the state’s redistricting committee chose the Democrats’ proposed map earlier this month, the Bayshore Tea Party group submitted its own “People’s Map” for consideration.
Every ten years, New Jersey must re-draw its legislative districts using the new Census data to make sure that residents are equally represented in the law-making body.
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