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Rep a product of gerrymandering

The Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol shook me to the core.

If this mob truly believed the election was not valid, it was due in part to some elected officials perpetuating this story, including newly elected U.S. Rep. Mary Miller.

Not only did this freshman representative become one of only two Illinois representatives to join an attempt to obstruct the certification of the election after this mob insurrection (source: New York Times), earlier that day, she also quoted Adolf Hitler in a speech in Washington, D.C., referencing the Hitler youth and saying, “Hitler was right on one thing. He said, ‘Whoever has the youth has the future.’” (Chicago Tribune).

In trying to mentally process the events, I considered gerrymandering. As long as I have been in our gerrymandered district, the only qualification required of candidates is having an “R” next to their name; party affiliation, not universal voter appeal, is what is important in this district.

Miller refused to debate her opponent during the election because she did not need to. If districts were more fairly drawn, we might have candidates who felt compelled to present their qualifications and platforms in order to earn our votes and, having earned our votes, might attempt to represent all their constituents.

My values are not represented by someone who seeks to disenfranchise voters and quotes Hitler to put forward her messaging. But in my gerrymandered district, she needs only meet the single qualification required of her, an “R” by her name.

KATHRYN VALDES

Mahomet

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