Saturday, March 24, 2012

Is gerrymandering something which can be fixed reasonably?

by DevsAdvocate

In Pennsylvania, the Republican-dominated state legislature used gerrymandering to help defeat Democratic representative Frank Mascara. Mascara was elected to Congress in 1994. In 2002, the Republican Party altered the boundaries of his original district so much that he was pitted against fellow Democratic candidate John Murtha in the election. The shape of Mascara's newly drawn district formed a finger that stopped at his street, encompassing his house, but not the spot where he parked his car. Murtha won the election in the newly formed district.

While this is one example, I see tons of them within several states like NY, NJ, CA, and TX. How do legislatures get away with this crap? In some districts, seats are so safe, that they remain a party seat for decades. Why can't they re-draw districts which swing to heavily in one direction to be more even-handed? For example: if a Democratic-safe district won by a margin of 10% in the last few election cycles, then that district would be re-drawn for more Republican representation. The other option might be to change the voting system...

The shortest split line method is a good example. Take it out of the hands of people and out it into the hands of an impartial equation.

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