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TWO VIEWS: Scrap gerrymandering, adopt ranked choice

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23.09.2021

Partisan gerrymandering of legislative districts has been a uniquely American problem since our founding: As long as we’ve had politicians, they’ve exploited the power to pick their own voters before the voters get to pick them.

It’s wrong, and it’s getting worse. Politicians have fancier tools and greater incentives to draw maps that advantage their side, with only five House seats separating Democrats and Republicans. More than ever, gerrymanders — crafted with sophisticated technology, powerful software, and terabytes of personal and political data — threaten the powerful ideals at the heart of our Founders’ vision: Consent of the governed.

Citizens in a representative democracy must have the power to change their leaders when they so desire. But after the 2018 midterms, 59 million Americans lived in a state where a legislative chamber was controlled by a party that lost the popular vote.

Our reform priorities are skewed. We must prevent voter fraud, but it’s as rare as being struck by lightning. Meanwhile, twisted maps alter politics nearly everywhere.

As the 2021 redistricting cycle begins, and politicians lock themselves in back rooms in order to lock voters out of power for another decade,........

© The Intelligencer


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