In some US states with aggressive plans for electoral redistricting, instead of voters choosing their politicians, politicians are choosing their voters. Advocates of electoral reform want that to change, as they say district lines are being manipulated and exploited by politicians to ensure election wins.
The process, called gerrymandering, has long been a part of US politics. Every 10 years, US states and local governments redraw the boundaries of their voting districts to account for population changes. Now with the latest 2020 census data in hand, electoral maps across the country are being redrawn in the lead up to the 2022 midterm elections.
Historically, partisan gerrymandering has been used to create electoral advantages for both major US parties. Critics say the practice can create skewed political profiles of communities and often dilutes the voting power of communities of colour.
Some states are trying to counter gerrymandering by appointing independent commissions for redistricting, but the results have shown little success in removing the politics from the process.
In this episode of The Stream, we’ll look at the impact of gerrymandering in the United States and what’s being done about it.
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