For years, FairVote has highlighted how our nation's reliance upon winner-take-all elections and single member districts for Congressional elections without national standards has left our voting process open to the abuses of unfair partisan gerrymandering. Insiders for decades have known how powerful redistricting can be for elected officials to protect friends and undermine opponents. It's a blood sport that both parties have exploited, thereby minimizing the role of voters in the political process. By gerrymandering the districts, legislators and their political cronies have used redistricting to choose their voters, before voters have had the opportunity to choose them.
For the historical development of redistricting, see All About Redistricting. For FairVote's solution to the gerrymandering problem, see the Fair Voting plan for the U.S. House.
FairVote Resources on Redistricting
The process of redistricting is highly partisan and often comes at the expense of voters. FairVote has developed a number of new resources regarding redistricting, including:
Redistricting encourages manipulation of our elections by allowing incumbent politicians to help partisan allies, hurt political enemies and choose their voters before the voters choose them. The current process is used as a means to further political goals by drawing boundaries to protect incumbents and reduce competition, rather than to ensure equal voting power and fair representation.
Solutions to the Redistricting Problem
FairVote encourages a number of short-term solutions such as national standards for transparency and public input, as well as replacing the partisan system with independent commissions at the state level. However, resolving the gerrymandering dilemma is only part of the problem. To achieve competitive elections, legislative diversity, and other public interest goals, fundamental change requires multimember districts with proportional voting. These reforms will help ensure all voters have choices and no strong prospective candidate is shut out of a chance to participate.
Read about other redistricting reform work and analysis from two coalitions backed by FairVote: Americans for Redistricting Reform and EndGerrymandering.com.
Redistricting Blog Posts
November 26, 2013
California's independent redistricting process ousted a lot of incumbents in 2012, but that competitiveness is unlikely to persist in 2014.
July 26, 2013
Independent redistricting only makes marginal improvements to South Carolina's uncompetitive and distorted congressional elections. Fair representation voting is a better solution.
February 15, 2013
Independent redistricting continues to gain attention as the panacea for American congressional elections. But as the independent redistricting's performance in California shows, on its own it cannot resolve the most serious problems with our congressional elections. We need to combine independent redistricting with adoption of fair voting plans.
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