Redistricting: time to get rid of this politicized mess

The way redistricting works today is a travesty. Few people understand how important it is to fix this mess!

Here's a political issue I think everyone can agree upon. Everyone, that is, except politicians. The issue is redistricting. Every ten years, after the census, the House
of Representatives is mandated to redraw voting district lines so that every district in the country has roughly the same population. The same holds true for state and local districts.

This past census period 428 congressional districts in 43 states had to be redrawn. The seven other states have only one Representative apiece because of their low populations.  7,382 state legislative districts and hundreds of
thousands of local districts also had to be adjusted. Not surprisingly, the party in power uses this opportunity to its best advantage.

In this past census period Democrats unilaterally controlled the redistricting process for 44 congressional seats in 6 states and 885 state legislative seats in 8
states; Republicans unilaterally controlled redistricting for 210 congressional seats (18 states) and 2,498 state legislative seats (21 states). The others were subject to some sort of divided control.

The result of redistricting by a political process is that lines are drawn so that the party in power can continue to win and hold as many seats in Congress as possible. District boundary lines often look like something concocted on an
Etch-a-Sketch. A cluster of people who tend to vote for one political party can be cordoned off in such a way that they will only win one House seat, while a disproportionate number of surrounding districts will by default have a population which tends to vote for the opposing party. This blatant political manipulation results in unfairly skewing power in favor of one party over another.

I don't think that's what the Founding Fathers had in mind. They wanted fair and equal representation for all citizens. That's why I think the redistricting process should be taken out of the hands of politicians. My opinion- it should be done
by some mathematical algorithm based on a longitudinal / latitudinal grid. That would be fair. Now get the politicians to pass something like this. I know. Lotsa luck.

Sooner or later, political power shifts. Those who are in power go out of power. Those who were powerless assume control. Do we really want to see constant
manipulation of the system, or do we deserve a fair and impartial solution? It's up to you. Bring this issue to the attention of your representatives.

In the process of researching this little political catharsis o' mine I did come up with one very interesting and entertaining website I'd like to recommend to both
gamers and those interested in the redistricting process.

It's http://www.redistrictinggame.org
Be prepared to spend a lot more time at this site than you'd expect!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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