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  1. D Green's avatar
    To be honest, gerrymandering just looks like it's a huge sign of political weakness. If the political position is strong enough to stand on it's own merit by the votes of the people, it doesn't need Gerrymandering.

    Second, it shows a blatant mistrust in a voters ability to do the right thing. What, are they afraid of being voted out if they stop Gerrymandering?
    Updated 22 Nov 2013 at 2:51 PM by D Green
  2. B'lieve's avatar
    As a Marylander, [in best Bubba Clinton voice] Ah feel yore pain.
    Texas, PA, and Maryland all did the same thing as Illinois, just the first two benefitted Republicans instead. PA's State Supreme Court overturned that state's map as unconstitutional (hooray!), but the highest courts in Texas and Maryland turned back challenges to those state's maps and approved them as constitutional.

    Here in MD the gerrymandered map was so awful one lower appeals court judge referred to John Sarbanes' district as "a broken-winged pterodactyl" according to the Baltimore Sun--Sarbanes had reportedly told the governor's redistricting commission he wanted to represent Annapolis and voila! it was done. We can petition laws to referendum here (except taxes), and a petition to do exactly that met the threshold to get on the 2012 ballot--and nothing else happened. No coverage on TV besides a two-minute blurb on one of Baltimore's four evening local newscasts, no newspaper coverage except a few brief inside-page blurbs, and short snippets buried in larger articles on the other referenda (casinos, same-sex marriage, DREAM Act). The groups driving the petition did nothing really to follow-up and publicize why they were fighting this travesty and what the consequences of keeping it would be. Worst of all, the ballot itself only said that the new congressional district boundaries were up for voter approval, with no explanation why, and no pictures of the map--that at least was almost certainly deliberately ordered by the state election commission's bosses in the General Assembly and governor's mansion. Predictably, the map was approved by the voters, who mostly had no idea what was going on or why this was up for a vote (based on newspaper reporters' questioning of voters as they left the polls.)

    The only way to really stop this is to either force a court case (with plaintiffs whose standing-to-sue/claims of harm are rock-solid) and drive it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, or use some serious legislative sleight-of-hand to slip a state constitutional amendment through a state's amendment process w/o most of the legislature or governor knowing until it's already out of their hands and on the next scheduled ballot--too many benefit too much to expect anything to pass openly. Either way, supporters would have to follow through, with a massive campaign to educate the public on the broad disenfranchisement and destruction of accountability gerrymandering causes and get people fired up. A high-profile success in one state would boost the odds of success in others, but I hold out little hope in the near-term.
  3. The One's avatar
    I'm thinking the greatest single reason for our political division these days is Gerrymandering. Is it any wonder that our politicians aren't willing to even negotiate on basic issues. Why should they, they know they will be re-elected because they often enjoy a 2:1 majority in their districts. Make no mistake, the availability of very specific demographics and voting polls have made it easy to make it happen.
  4. ela's avatar
    I enjoyed reading your Article
    it is so true.

    Ela Ostricher
    Architect
    http://www.ela-arch.co.il
  5. jrblack's avatar
    Ohio's is pretty horrific. The whole debacle makes me furious.

    Irony = the winner of the Draw the Line Ohio contest? An Illinois state representative. (He won both competitions: Congressional map, state legislative map.) His map looks like the epitome of common sense when compared with the resulting redistricting maps. I haven't heard a negative word, from Dems or Repubs, about his winning maps. Oh well.
  6. clashorne's avatar
    If you think that the legislatures-majority vs minority-can handle this fairly just what till our state supreme court gets a hold of this. With accusations of physical violence flying back and forth during the public employee union ruling, this should be a good 12 rounder. We passed conceal-carry just in time for some real fireworks!
  7. LTrain's avatar
    check out NYS district maps for a real laugh
  8. Bear Up North's avatar
    Agreed, geographical districts make more sense. Remember what Mom did when you and a sibling were told to share a cookie? The first person divides it, the second person chooses the piece.

    Why not let the minority party in the state draw the lines? Heh heh heh.....

    Bear