One issue which very often gets overlooked, especially on the national stage is gerrymandering. In some states, parties have been able to draw districts for congressional seats, state legislative seats, county board seats, etc. in ways in which the majority party is able to maintain a majority in the future.
This issue is one which hinders both Republicans and Democrats alike, however it tends to impact different political parties in different states and portions of the country.
For example, Republican majorities in North Carolina and others have been able to draw district in ways which greatly aid the Republican majority, thus multiplying its majority. Conversely, Democrats in Illinois, Maryland, and others have been able to do the same,. but to benefit their own party.
Many have argued that the way in which these maps are drawn have led to an ever increasingly polarized Congress. By drawing districts such that there are very few “toss up” or competitive races, representatives tend to move more towards the extreme of left or right. While, moderate individuals tend to be pushed out in public office.
Moderate Republican Bob Dold who formerly served the Illinois Tenth Congressional District, in a highly gerrymandered district, which removed him from the district which he represented and had resided in his whole life, argues:
“The corrupt process of gerrymandering has led to a deeply partisan and ineffective Congress.”
In fact, in Dold’s 2012 concession speech he stated,
“We gave it everything we had in this race. We worked hard, made tremendous sacrifices, and didn’t let the daunting odds of redistricting get in our way.”
See some of the maps below, to see the actual Congressional districts and how the Washington Post redrew them for compactness.
The model from the Washington Post is designed in a way where:
“It draws districts that respect the boundaries of census blocks, which are the smallest geographic units used by the Census Bureau. This ensures that the district boundaries reflect actual neighborhoods and don’t, say, cut an arbitrary line through somebody’s house.”
Below is the comparison between the Pennsylvania districts and the computer version.
What do you think? Should something be done to stop gerrymandering? Let HYPELINE News what you think in the comments!
(h/t Washington Post)