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Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:01 PM

Here are some disgusting numbers about how bad states are Gerrymandered

This is the state of Pennsylvania:

President:
Obama (D): 2.93 million votes
Romney (R): 2.65 million votes

Senate:
Casey (D): 2.94 milion votes
Smith (R): 2.45 million votes

Aud General:
Depasquale (D): 2.73 million votes
Maher (R): 2.55 million votes

Attorney General:
Kane (D): 3.13 million votes
Freed (R): 2.31 million votes

Treasurer:
McCord (D): 2.87 million votes
Vaughn (R): 2.41 million votes

Those were the 5 statewide races that PA voters voted on in 2012. Just looking at those 5 elections it was a day of champions for Democrats. Even with all the shenighans the Republicans tried to do with that heinious voter ID bill, Democrats still won with strong returns for all the state wide votes.

And yet out of 18 house seats the democrats only won FIVE of them. BUt look at the overall vote for PA House:

All Democrat House Candidates: 2.72 million 2otes
All Republican House Candidates: 2.65 million votes

50.7% of Pennsylvanians wanted a democrat as their US Representative over 49.3% who wanted a Republican YET 72.2% of the US House seats for Pennsylvanians are occupied by Republicans.

Here's another fun fact.

The 5 seats that the democrats won they won by an average of 76.9% of the vote. They had THREE districts where the democrats won over 85% of the votes with one at 90% of the vote.

Yet the 13 seats where Republicans won they won by only 59.3% of the vote.

What does that mean?

It means that when the Pennsylvania State House & Senate redistricted back in 2011-2012, they managed to compact 42% of all voters likely to vote democrat into 5 congressional districts while leaving only about 13% of known republican voters in those districts. In reverse the GOP managed to spread 87% of the republican voters into 13 congressional districts. And even though 58% of the democrats were in those districts they couldn't compete even if they wanted to.

Now, I realize that gerrymandering is done by both parties. I'm sure someone could point to the maps to show how bad it was done in California. But remember this - even though the majority of the voters in California prefered a Democrat to represent them as their US Representative, California voters also voted for a democrat as their President and Senator too. That's a far cry from a state where Democrats won all their statewide races but still managed to send an unusually high number or republicans to the US House.

In general Redistricting is broken in the United States. And not just at the Federal Level but the state level too. It's about time that states take on this unfair practice of gerrymandering and set guidelines that ensure districts are created in a way that create borders that make sense.

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Reply Here are some disgusting numbers about how bad states are Gerrymandered (Original post)
LynneSin Dec 2012 OP
Nye Bevan Dec 2012 #1
blm Dec 2012 #2
hfojvt Dec 2012 #3
SoCalDem Dec 2012 #4
hogwyld Dec 2012 #5
angstlessk Dec 2012 #6
Retrograde Dec 2012 #7

Response to LynneSin (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:04 PM

1. In the UK there is a strictly nonpartisan Boundary Commission

that sets district boundaries based upon strictly geographic/population factors.

The Boundary Commissions are required to apply a series of rules when designing constituencies.

Firstly, each proposed constituency has to comply with 2 numerical limits:

the electorate of each constituency must be within 5% of the United Kingdom electoral quota. This number is the total mainland electorate divided by the number of mainland constituencies, which is 596. In simple terms, it is the average electorate of a mainland constituency.
the area of a constituency must be no more than 13,000 square kilometres.

There are a small number of exceptions to the numerical limit on electorate which are specified in the legislation:

the four protected island constituencies mentioned above are each permitted to have a smaller electorate than the usual limit;
a constituency with an area of more than 12,000 square kilometres may have a smaller electorate than the usual limit; and
constituencies in Northern Ireland may be subject to slightly different limits under certain circumstances.

Having satisfied the electorate and area requirements, each Commission can also take into account a number of other factors:

"special geographical considerations" including the size, shape and accessibility of a constituency;
local government boundaries;
boundaries of existing constituencies;
local ties which would be broken by changes to constituencies;
inconveniences resulting from changes to constituencies.

It is obvious that the other factors are to an extent mutually contradictory, and therefore each Commission has discretion on how it applies them. In doing so, each Commission aims for a consistent approach within a review.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boundary_Commissions_%28United_Kingdom%29

This kind of system is badly needed in the US.



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Response to LynneSin (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:18 PM

2. Same thing in North Carolina

.

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Response to LynneSin (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:33 PM

3. I'd like to see a breakdown of votes by Congressional district

That is, I am wagering, that there are a few districts, like Ryan's in Wisconsin, where a majority of the voters voted for Obama AND for the incumbent Republican for Congress.

And stupidity like that has nothing to do with Gerrymandering. It has to do with an inability to get a message out against superior name recognition and campaign funds.

Further, it is my understanding that some of this is OUR doing (as it were) because civil rights legislation demands districts that empower minorities. To take an urban district, which is majority-minority, and mix it with a rural district to make it non-majority-minority, would be a violation of these laws. So by law we almost HAVE to compact Democrats into a few districts.

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Response to LynneSin (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:39 PM

4. This happens because "re-districting" years are often "given" to republicans in off-year elections

Democrats have often failed in getting our own to participate in those crucial elections, and many true-blue states hand off the reins of state government to republican governors/secretaries of state, and then we wonder why it's so damned hard to win elections in the presidential years...

Republican governors of blue states are just plain dangerous to democracy.

Look at what Reagan did to CA

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Response to LynneSin (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:40 PM

5. Elections have consequences

When a lot of Dems stayed home in 2010, the R's won a lot of districts and a LOT of the state legislatures. They got to redraw the maps due to the census. We'll have to live with this until 2020 at least.

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Response to LynneSin (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:40 PM

6. California has a Redistricting Commission:

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about the Citizens Redistricting Commission (Commission).
Q. What is the Commission?

A. Every 10 years, after the federal census, California must redraw the boundaries of its Congressional, State Senate, State Assembly, and State Board of Equalization districts, to reflect the new population data. Now those lines will be drawn by the Commission. California voters authorized the creation of the Commission when they passed the Voters First Act, which appeared as Proposition 11 on the November 2008 general election ballot. Under the Act, the Commission is charged with drawing the boundaries of California’s Congressional, Senate, Assembly and Board of Equalization electoral districts.
Q. How many Commission members are there?

A. The commission has14 members from varied ethnic backgrounds and geographic locations in the state and includes five Democrats, five Republicans, and four Decline to State.
Q. What was the process of becoming a member of the Commission?

A. When the applications became available, interested parties submitted their applications online. Applicants who affirmed in their applications that they met all of the qualifications in the Act for serving on the Commission, and did not have a “conflict of interest” were invited to submit a supplemental application containing additional information about their qualifications.

http://wedrawthelines.ca.gov/faq.html

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Response to angstlessk (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:23 PM

7. There were the usual complaints

about it being staffed largely by old, white guys who were retired and could afford the frequent trips to Sacramento, and the Republicans tried to kill it a few times, but all in all they did a pretty good job - and we found out who kept getting re-elected because their seats had been gerrymandered previously into "safe" districts!

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