Barack Obama and Eric Holder take on Gerrymandering

Barack Obama and Eric Holder focus on gerrymanderingOne of the intriguing sub-themes to emerge from the 2016 elections is the news, first reported by Politico, that President Obama and former Attorney General Eric Holder intend to focus their future political efforts on a broad-based Democratic Party program to right the perceived wrongs of Republican Congressional gerrymandering. The donors have been lined up, Super PACs are taking shape, and some new web sites have been soft-launched that highlight the evils of gerrymandering. It’s early days, but the signs point to this being a missed opportunity for American governance. Continue reading

Posted in National Democratic Redistricting Committee, NDRC, Obama, Politics of Redistricting | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

How could anyone say that? Here’s how…


Robert Pittenger’s 9th Congressional district, drawn to skirt the urban core of Charlotte. The area of the police shooting and rioting is shown in red.

Asked by the BBC today why there was unrest in Charlotte after the police shooting of Keith L. Scott last Tuesday, Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger said…

 “The grieving in their mind is the animus, the anger. They hate white people because white people are successful and they’re not.” Continue reading

Posted in minority rights, north carolina, Politics of Redistricting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Gerrymandering causes Global Warming

Lamar Smith Gerrymander Climate Change

The portrait of Lamar Smith that really matters

I could post a picture of Lamar Smith, the Republican chair of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, but suffice it to say he’s an old white guy with glasses. Since that also describes me, I prefer to believe that tells you little about the person and so I’ll post the portrait of Smith’s congressional district in Texas instead, whose contorted shape tells you most of what you need to know. Continue reading

Posted in Politics of Redistricting, Texas | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

How do we get rid of Gerrymandering?

What to do about Gerrymandering?A new follower of this blog from Texas wrote me recently asking what he could do to help get rid of Gerrymandering. It is a really good question- one that I wish I could answer better. But let me take a stab at it…. Continue reading

Posted in Brennan Center, Brian Olson, Politics of Redistricting, Proportional Representation | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Gerrymandering results in dismal turnouts – Richmond Times-Dispatch

depressy face free for comml useVery persuasive Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial with examples from Virginia’s experience that gerrymandering leads to a vicious cycle of low voter turnout and congressional races that are uncontested even at the party level. This is a good, quick read…

Gerrymandering results in dismal turnouts

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Can single-member districts ever be truly fair?

red and blue smily and frownyRecently I’ve been challenged in a very forceful but thoughtful way by a WordPress user who uses the handle realrepresentation. This reader advocates Proportional Representation as the system the United States should use to select its delegates to the House of Representatives.

I lived in Germany for a couple of years and watched a variant of proportional representation in action there, and I have to say I was impressed Continue reading

Posted in Boundary mathematics, minority rights, Pennsylvania, Politics of Redistricting, Proportional Representation | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

You’ve Been Gerrymandered

Just to demonstrate that gerrymandering slices both ways…

Maryland's GOP Legislative District 15


The Washington Post put the case for reform of Maryland’s electoral map rather well in a November 16 editorial chastising Democrats for their “…grotesque gerrymandering of the state’s congressional districts…” As the Post said “…the congressional map they drew following the 2010 census is a study in political cynicism…a crazy quilt of comically contrived districts in which voters are treated as pawns in an insiders’ game.”

Not Bethesda Not Bethesda

Indeed, when you next go shopping at Montgomery Mall pause a moment and reflect that you are literally standing on the eastern edge of the Sixth Congressional District and that the western edge is closer to Pittsburgh than Bethesda. Where, you might ask, is the common interest that argues for such an oddly-shaped district?

The analytics firm Azavea mapped all 435 U.S. congressional districts to determine the degree of gerrymandering…

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Posted in maryland, Politics of Redistricting, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment