Setting Voting District Boundaries

Setting Voting District Boundaries

Redistricting happens every ten years in conjunction with the census as part of its function is to allocate seats for Congressional Districts. Everyone should look at their respective districts. When you look at them, they resemble a Rorschach blot, not an organized structure. This is by design. Depending on which party is in control of the Legislature at the time of redistricting, it can scoop up neighborhoods to help sway, strengthen, or congregate the party strength in a particular district. Lines are redrawn to help solidify party support or pull areas away that may dilute a party’s influence in one area or another. As you can imagine, it is highly political. Redistricting often culminates in judicial review.

District lines could be made up of existing counties or other clearly mapped coordinates that represent areas, not interests or specific demographics. Both sides, Republican and Democrat, perpetuate this ongoing nonsense.

These district lines affect school districts as well as other elected officials. The public should pay attention, but it doesn’t. We learn about it at school, or we used to. We are told at an early age about “Gerrymandering: The practice of dividing election districts to give special advantages to one group and usually to give one political party an electoral majority in a large number of districts while concentrating the opposition’s voting strength in the fewest possible districts possible.” Neither side of the aisle suggests a rationale solution as it may negate any advantage.

This is a good example of why assigning blame for policy shortcomings (how is that for an understatement) should not be limited to one party. Gerrymandering, like political party donation disclosure, could be fixed, but nobody cares.

Republican, or Red, States could lead the charge on some of these issues, but seem reluctant. If Red states want to send a message, to accompany this whole State’s rights voting law changes conversation, they could, but that would require significant policy changes and undoubtedly stir the ire of Republican leadership. The later does not seek substantive change but only tweaks.

Red states could reform education. Look at Alabama, ranked in the bottom five among the fifty states since the Department of Education was created. Has it done anything different? Yes, like other states, it has thrown some money at it, tweaked a few rules, but still remains at the bottom. This is Republican leadership, but we don’t talk about that. I wonder if students still learn about Gerrymandering at school these days and if they will make any progress in changing how district lines are drawn when they grow up. Maybe they can fix this after they pay off the debt.

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Categorized as Policy

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