Gerrymandering Misunderstood

The Washington Post has a short article about gerrymandering with a deeply flawed graphic. By that, I mean the graphic implies that the most partisan district lines are the ideal.  How crazy is that? One hand at the Post is writing (for decades) that partisanship has gotten out of control, but the other hand says that partisanship in extreme districts is the answer.

This chart’s “1. Perfect representation” system is deeply flawed — it has 5 extreme incumbents who will never face a challenger. Not perfect at all. It looks a lot like the incumbency-protection gerrymander in California from 2002-2012. It is the kind of system the monopoly parties love, candidates hate, and where people are irrelevant.

One response to “Gerrymandering Misunderstood

  1. My preference is based on large existing political subdivisions. A given district would be made up of whole, existing political units, like precincts, wards, cities and counties. Start with the largest units that have a lower population than the district calls for, then go to the next smaller whole units, then to the next, etc., until the district has the proper population.
    For instance, a state rep district may require a population of say 500,000. If the district is to include part or all of a 250,000 city, it must include the whole city – no more splitting up voters into “R” and “D” areas. Once the city is in the mix, then the district takes in the rest of the city’s county, as long as the additive population does not take the whole district above the 500,000 maximum. If taking the rest of the county would cause the population to exceed the max, then taking in entire adjacent suburbs or townships as long as they are in the same county would be the next step. Finally, when the next suburb is too large, an adjacent suburb’s municipal districts (wards) and then precincts would be included. If the entire county does not have the requisite population, the same procedure would be followed in the next county, and so on, until the district had its population requirement satisfied.
    If the city’s population is above 500,000, then entire adjacent wards would be included until the next ward would be too large – then to the adjacent precincts.

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