Essay On Redistricting

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Redistricting has been a cause of debate for many years in the United States. The process of manipulating the boundaries of voting districts for party or class gain is as old as our nation. In 1788, Gerrymandering was already being used by Patrick Henry to put James Madison at a disadvantage in the race for presidency (Barasch). Although certain rules are in place – like how districts must be contiguous and and compact – there is little said about the actual process of redistricting in the constitution, which is why redistricting has been taken so wildly out of its constitutional context through the centuries. Many states and activist groups have tried to reform the redistricting process, but only twenty-one states utilize a non-partisan commission…show more content…
What can we do to ensure a redistricting plan that is fully constitutional in the fact that it represents the most perfect cross-section of American society? The answer is complicated. Although the idea of an independent redistricting commission sounds like a safe bet – there has to be certain things in place for it to actually be effective in making the voting process fair. A member of this independent commission would come from a relatively apolitical source. But this “apolitical source” can be fudged. Does simply the absence of a record of contribution to a political party or running for office in a partisan election make a person an independent? We can never know the true independence of someone who can be appointed for a commission like this. And once the group is appointed, the next issue is to decide how to break up districts. Information should be provided to the commission because unfair districts would likely occur if districts were drawn out of random geographic order. Given partisan info, we can assume that the fairest way to break up districts is to aim for the most competitive fight between parties in each district (LaBrant). However, this can be tough in areas of thick concentrations of either type of party. Districts should be decided based on competitiveness, and then geographic location, never for an individual or party
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