Gerrymandering Thread


#162

The key phrase.


#163

Yeah, the NEXT phrase is…

According to the measure, a map passed under these conditions can’t “unduly favor or disfavor” one particular party or its incumbents, and lawmakers can’t “unduly split” localities. Legislators would also have to provide a justification for their map ― making an illegal one easier to challenge in court.


#164

That’s easy enough to bullshit through in court since there’s no factual requirement. And while that process plays out, they’ll continue to use the existing map.

On the surface, the rules for the 4-year map seem reasonable. But you have 5 counties that can be split into 3 pieces which would be… Cuyahoga (Cleveland), Franklin (Columbus), Hamilton (Cincinnati), Summit (Akron), and then likely Montgomery (Dayton). City limits have to be respected (except in Columbus due to its size) but the large majority of people live in suburbs here.

It will be more difficult, but not impossible to draw a shitty map. I think the Dems pick up one seat from NE Ohio which would move them to 5-11. Maaaaybe one from Cinci to go to 6-10. That’s still terrible with ~48% of the vote.


#165

“Liberal folks in those other schools”. It’s alright, girl. You’re in Mississippi America. You can just call them what you really want to.


#166

Not to be outdone, Democrats insist that they too can be worthless pieces of shit.


#167

Gerrymandering is certainly bipartisan. One glance and Maryland’s district boundaries will show that the Blue side is far from sinless.

BUT, the of the two parties only the Dems are pushing for comprehensive solutions.


#168

I’m sure it is dastardly (seriously) but I confess I don’t grasp the scheme. If half the districts must be drawn to favor Democrats, and the other half must be drawn to favor Republicans, then the bit about ‘competitive’ districts ought to be irrelevant. What am I missing?


#169

Gerrymandering districts to favor one party is a major reason why our current political climate is turbo trash.

It leads to a situation where a district is partisan by nature, and instead of favoring candidates who represent the bipartisan interests of their district, instead are only concerned with their primary election, since the general election is a gimme.

This results in increasingly partisan, extreme legislators, who really only represent the most extreme elements of their respective parties, since those tend to be the most reliable voters in primary elections.


#170

Luckily the NJ Governor is not having any of that.


#171

Actually, only half can be more favorable to Republicans than the statewide average. So if NJ is 55% Democratic, then a district that is 51% Democratic falls in the category of “Competitive, favoring Republicans”. That could leave only 25% of districts where Republicans actually outnumber Democrats.


#172

It also means that once you have won a district, you can probably keep it until you retire. No one credible from the other party will bother to challenge you (except in wave elections like this past one). And incumbancy is a big advantage in a primary election when opponents from your own party don’t have party backing to challenge you.

See also: Dana Rohrabacher.


#173

Ah, got it, thanks!


#174

It’s part of the reason that as a Liberal in CA, I still voted for the Independent Board. Some of my Democrat friends involved in politics were claiming that it was just a GOP grab for power and it should be resisted and defeated, but I was tired of the BS, and I think that more of the CA districts truly represent voters in the State now as compared to before redistricting reform. I’d wager most Californians feel the same (save for those who were benefiting from gerrymandering).


#175

People have been screaming about gerrymandering for decades, and only today you’re finally wondering what it is? It’s playing number games to slice up districts so the minority party can win.


#176

He’s aware, I think he just didn’t understand the specific scheme of New Jersey.

Because it declared, by law, an equal portion of ‘safe’ seats for each party that would take a significant portion of the legislature. Which is not as immediately obvious as the shenanigans of North Carolina. It doesn’t appear inherently unfair, as it declares equal portions for each party and the remaining portion being competitive (defined as within 5% of the state at large). This seems, until you break it down, as a more equitable solution than straight partisan gerrymander.

In effect, however, it is by law declaring partisan gerrymander while cloaking it in the language of equitability. It’s insidious in that way.

But a straight reading of the law without an understanding of the demographic realities, would obscure that.


#177

No, it specifies a minimum number of “competitive” seats, which is 50%. “Competitive” is defined as a partisan division within 5% of the statewide mean. These must be equally divided into districts above and below the mean.

There is no minimum number of safe seats; those can theoretically range from zero to 50%. They likewise must be equally divided into districts above and below the mean.

All that said, if the statewide party division goes above 55%, then you inescapably end up with the same party majority in at least 75% of all districts.


#178

great article.


#179

Narrator: No, he was not.

Indeed.


#180

It’s also, and maybe more commonly, used by the majority party to get an even larger majority. After all, the majority party gets to draw the lines, not the minority one.


#181

As Democratic legislators barreled toward a December vote, New Jersey’s progressive community rallied against the proposal. A huge coalition of grassroots activists, union leaders, voting rights advocates, and racial justice proponents objected to the amendment. More than 100 activists and academics—representing a broad range of organizations, including the New Jersey Working Families Alliance and the League of Women Voters—testified against the amendment. They held press conferences and protests to shame Democratic leaders and demand real reform. It worked: On Saturday, Democratic legislators backed away from the amendment, canceling a Monday vote and effectively killing it.