Thursday, November 04, 2010

When Gerrymanders Attack

Unlike ACORN, the New Black Panther Party and mythical voting patterns of illegal immigrants, Gerrymandering is a real threat to electoral legitimacy in this nation. It depresses participation in the political process, protects incumbents and incentivizes political extremes. Just looking at the districts, as drawn, exposes incredible absurdity to the situation.

Yet, it is a situation downplayed by the political and media castes. You have to wonder why that is.

If you are interested in "taking back your country" or making any improvements to State or National political systems, you're going to need to educate yourself on this continuing problem.

Slate has an old slideshow on some of the more ridiculous districts out there, and the Daily Dish is taking note and displaying the evidence.

Thought most of the Dish information comes from readers writing in.

Now, before you get all up in my grill about how most of those terrible districts are represented by Democrats, consider this:

In Georgia, Republicans are complaining about Congressional District 2, because it is a competitive district, and the GOP candidate just barely lost. District 2 was created by the GOP legislature after they threw out the terrible districts drawn by the previous Democratic legislature. If you look at a a map of Georgia Congressional districts (PDF) you can see that District 2 was drawn specifically to concentrate black (ie: Democratic) voters and increase the access to suburban and exurban Atlanta (ie: white, Republican) voters to as many districts as possible.

Those of you not from Georgia may be questioning how that is the case, as district 2 is a big and contiguous bloc, with few -manderish traits apparent. Look towards the northwest and southeast parts of this district, and you start to see the proof in the pudding. Columbus, Georgia, the state's 3rd largest city, is locaded in Muscogee County (northwest). Valdosta, Georgia, a medium sized city with a large minority population, is located in Lowndes County (southeast). District 2 cleaves both counties in half.

Guess what neighborhoods ended up where. I'll not even get into how district 2 cuts down the Dougherty County line, dividing the city of Albany and this area's western neighborhoods away from the area's eastern suburbs (in district 8, that goes all the way up to suburban Atlanta, represented by a Republican).

So, before anyone gets into how the Civil Rights Act of 1964 isn't still relevant today, you don't have to look far to see why we still have to have it on the books. Because these Republicans, who designed district 2 to be the Democratic minority seat, are now complaining about district 2 being won by a Democratic minority vote.

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