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Redistricting comes up after the 2020 Census; it's time to find out what that means for Oregonians.

The League of Women Voters of Oregon and its Washington County unit are holding a redistricting education forum at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, in Room 103, Portland Community College's Willow Creek Center, 241 S.W. Edgeway Drive, Beaverton.

There, voters can learn about the current problems in our redistricting process and what the League proposes to fix it.

The redistricting process is next scheduled for 2021, following the 2020 Census is complete, and the League is committed to educating voters ahead of time on this issue and how it could impact them. At the forum, voters can learn and ask questions about our current redistricting process, how it impacts elections here in Oregon, and what reform could look like.

The League is moving forward in advocating for fair representation, competitive districts and a system that prevents abuse.

The redistricting forum will feature Candalynn Johnson, the League's campaign coordinator, and state League president Norman Turrill.

Why does redistricting matter?

Redistricting is the process of redrawing the lines that define political districts. For legislative and congressional districts, this typically occurs after the completion of the federal census every 10 years.

Redistricting changes districts to properly reflect the changes in numbers and interests of constituents.

Oregon is among many states where partisan elected officials may be tempted to distort the districts they represent for their personal or partisan advantage. When legislators have control of where the lines get drawn, voters allow a system where gerrymandering can take priority over fair representation.

Reforming this system would require an amendment to the Oregon Constitution. The League supports redistricting reform that would promote putting the process of redistricting back into the hands of voters to create fair and representative districts.

The League of Women Voters of Oregon, founded in 1920, is a grassroots, nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government in order to build better communities statewide. More information about the state League is at lwvor.org, and the Washington County unit website is lwvwashco.wordpress.com.

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