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Redistricting needs to be transparent, Power Poll shows

Chattanooga, TN  |  December 20, 2019 11:00am

As Tennessee looks ahead to redrawing boundaries for the state’s federal and state legislative districts after the 2020 Census is complete, 78% of Chattanooga respondents surveyed this week in the newest Power Poll said the Volunteer State should adopt policies to ensure citizens can attend hearings about redistricting maps before those maps are finalized.

Statewide, 80% of Power Poll respondents said the redistricting process should be more open to public input or comment.

However, 68% of respondents said knowing the state’s districts are drawn fairly and openly would have no impact on their likelihood to vote. Thirty-two percent said a transparent redistricting process would make them more likely to vote.

Redistricting always is a contentious issue. With Republicans firmly in control of the state General Assembly, they will direct how district maps are redrawn in 2021.

The Power Poll also sought opinions on Tennessee election system security, which has become a top priority across the country in the wake of the 2016 election. Concerns about tampering with voting systems and cyber attacks have prompted federal and state officials to take a hard look at how to ensure the voting process is secure.

Looking ahead to the critical 2020 election year, 54% of Chattanooga Power Poll respondents said they are “very confident” or “somewhat confident” that the state’s election systems are secure from hacking and other tech threats.

But more than a third — 37% — are either “not too confident” or “not at all confident” in election system security, the poll showed.

Statewide, 48% of Power Poll respondents said they are confident in election security while 43% are not all that confident.

In addition, 52% of Chattanooga Power Poll respondents said they are “very confident” or “somewhat confident” that the Tennessee General Assembly is making serious efforts to protect the state’s election systems. About 34% were “not too confident” or “not confident at all.” Chattanooga’s survey takers have more confidence in the legislature’s attention to election security than Power Poll respondents across the state: only 33% across the state expressed confidence in lawmakers’ efforts to guarantee election security while 57% were not confident.

The monthly Power Poll surveys people who either directly make, or tangentially influence, policy at local, state and/or federal levels on a variety of issues. It is composed of elected officials, CEOs and other influencers representing a broad cross-section of business, nonprofit organizations, foundations, media, sports, entertainment entities, and more in Chattanooga, Knoxville, Nashville and Memphis.

In Chattanooga, 180 people were surveyed; 69 (38%) responded. Statewide, 1,791 Power Poll members were surveyed this week; 584 (or 32%) responded. The poll is not a scientific survey.


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