Partisan Gerrymandering is undemocratic

Caitlin Deerwester, News and Opinions Editor

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Partisan gerrymandering should be illegal because it takes away citizens’ right to choose their congressional representatives, but instead, they choose their voters.
Gerrymandering is when a politician redraws a district of voters so that their party is supported by 51% of the population and then keep the other party in a couple districts, this allows that politician to gain more power without the votes.
“Congressional gerrymandering should be banned in the United States because it goes against the American principles of a free democracy,” wrote the Huffington Post on October 18.
Giving politicians the power to draw districts of voters has allowed the majority party to preserve their power even when most of the votes were for the other party as reported by the Huffington Post.
“And it points to growing concern that two tenets of American democracy — the concepts of majority rule and protecting the rights of minorities — are being supplanted by a third doctrine: the winner takes all,” the New York Times reported.
The New York Times found that Democrats have also used gerrymandering in states like Illinois and Maryland; however, Republican gerrymanders account for half of the 24-seat advantage the party currently holds in the House.
New research into partisan redistricting has brought into question the constitutionality of it and in what ways redistricting could be less partisan and fairer to both sides of the political spectrum.
“Referring to a sheaf of historical research, Judge James A. Wynn of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit wrote that the elections clause allowed states to set procedural rules for elections but did not allow them ‘to disfavor the interests of supporters of a particular candidate or party in drawing congressional districts,” wrote the New York Times.
The focus on new social-science and historical research is meant to woo conservatives on the Supreme Court who have been careful to avoid entangling in political matters.
“Even if the voters overwhelmingly pick one party, with gerrymandering, the other party can still get in power. That is not democracy at all,” the Huffington Post reported on October 18. “Gerrymandering is how the Democrats won a majority of over 1 million more congressional votes than Republicans, in a recent election, but they still lost 33 congressional seats to the GOP. Gerrymandering is completely undemocratic. How can we call a system that completely bypasses the wishes of the voters, a democracy?”

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