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Author Topic:   Gerrymandering and Voter Suppression
Sarah Bellum
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Posts: 488
Joined: 05-04-2019


(1)
Message 15 of 81 (856187)
06-28-2019 11:24 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by Faith
06-28-2019 3:05 AM


Re: The 2018 election showed how districts can change partisan orientation - dramatically
There will always be some attempt at gerrymandering, whether it is partisan gerrymandering or affirmative action gerrymandering in an attempt to produce a district that will have a majority of voters from a disadvantaged group or just plain political horsetrading by incumbents desperate to keep their seats.

So why not try to tone it down by, for example, passing a law that in any district there must be at least one point where an observer could stand and have a sight line to every other point in the district that doesn't pass through an adjoining district. You could get districts shaped like an L or like a star, but you couldn't get the really extreme shapes that give voters the message they are being cheated.


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 Message 13 by Faith, posted 06-28-2019 3:05 AM Faith has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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Sarah Bellum
Member
Posts: 488
Joined: 05-04-2019


Message 20 of 81 (856213)
06-28-2019 2:10 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by Taq
06-28-2019 11:58 AM


Re: The 2018 election showed how districts can change partisan orientation - dramatically
Oh indeed, and some states have tried for nonpartisan committees. But there's always the temptation for people to try to influence things. How are the committees selected in the first place, for example? What about the people who (allegedly) have upright motives for building gerrymandered districts, such as those designed to give disadvantaged groups more representation?

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 Message 17 by Taq, posted 06-28-2019 11:58 AM Taq has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by Taq, posted 06-28-2019 3:13 PM Sarah Bellum has responded

  
Sarah Bellum
Member
Posts: 488
Joined: 05-04-2019


Message 23 of 81 (856222)
06-28-2019 4:05 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by Taq
06-28-2019 3:13 PM


Re: The 2018 election showed how districts can change partisan orientation - dramatically
It's never going to be easy to set up a fair system. Kenneth Arrow showed (in the context of voting, not in drawing districts) the ideal system itself is impossible.

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 Message 24 by Theodoric, posted 06-28-2019 8:00 PM Sarah Bellum has responded

  
Sarah Bellum
Member
Posts: 488
Joined: 05-04-2019


Message 28 of 81 (856272)
06-29-2019 8:59 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by Theodoric
06-28-2019 8:00 PM


Re: The 2018 election showed how districts can change partisan orientation - dramatically
You're correct that Arrow's insight doesn't concern drawing district lines. But the idea is the same. If the district, for example, includes 25% of one minority, 10% of another, but 55% of voters from one party and 45% of voters from the other, how do you draw the district lines to result in similar proportions for the elected representatives? And do you even want to? What we've seen when representatives are selected that way is an abundance of "safe" seats, encouraging extremists for whom the primary election is the only consideration!

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