A new study from Duke University in North Carolina gives strong statistical proof that the practice of Gerrymandering is perverting our democracy.
North Carolina has 13 congressional districts. In the study, they drew a series of 100 congressional district maps randomly. They took the actual vote results from the 2012 election and totaled them for each randomly drawn map. They found that with exactly the same votes, on average 7.6 Democratic representatives would win the election.
This contrasts sharply with the 4 Democrats elected in the real election. In their conclusion, the authors state bluntly that allowing Gerrymandering subverts the “will of the people“.
It is easy to get rid of Gerrymandering. In fact, the US is the only major country that allows self-interested politicians to control the redistricting process. Three states (Washington, California, and Arizona) have laws that require redistricting to be done in a non-partisan manner. And there are other alternatives, such as avoiding congressional districts entirely and elect representatives for a state “at large”.
Gerrymandering violates the Constitution’s equal protection clause, and furthermore violates the Voting Rights Act of 1965. We should get rid of this dinosaur.