NJ Lawmaker Wants More Competitive Voting Districts

Jul 24, 2018

Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick

The top Republican in New Jersey's Assembly wants to amend the state constitution to require that voting districts don’t favor a political party by more than 10 percent.

Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick says the lack of competitive districts leaves too many voters without a meaningful choice.

“It creates polarization in society because if you’re running in a very conservative district, you’re playing to the conservative wing. If you’re running in a very liberal district, you’re playing to the liberal wing. And that’s why you see no middle left in America or in New Jersey.”

Bramnick has been trying for more than two years to get the Democrat-controlled legislature to act on his proposed amendment but acknowledges it's unlikely the plan would get enough votes to put it on the ballot.

“That amendment would require districts to be as competitive as possible. Who could possibly be against that? People who want to keep their job in Trenton. I get it. But who would be against it in the real world?”

Bramnick says he might take legal action to ensure more competitive districts.

“Would I consider a lawsuit here if I thought I could win? Absolutely. But at this point we’re waiting for some court decisions at the federal level. I’ll have to wait to see what some of the Supreme Court decisions will be in the next six months.”

Bramnick says the 2011 legislative district map doesn't sufficiently promote competition. 

A new map won’t be crafted until after the 2020 census.