A Citizen’s Guide to Redistricting Abuses

By Dennis Polhill

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Representative democracy is a system of government whereby citizens rule the government through chosen representatives. In the U.S. representatives increasingly choose those they will represent, as elections tend to be predetermined by gerrymandering.

Originally the states decided their system of representation. At-large representation and single member districts have been the most common. Mixed representation systems and multi-member districts have been used. Only single-member equal population districts have existed since implementation of the 1962 Baker v. Carr U.S. Supreme Court ruling. The “one person, one vote” reasoning corrected outrageous population disparities among districts.

The U.S. House of Representatives with 65 members in 1788 grew to 435 members in 1910 and has stayed at 435. The U.S. Constitution requires that these be “apportioned” among the states based on population following the census. Congress must pass an apportionment statute each decade defining its number of members and the method of apportioning them among the states. Twelve U.S. House seats moved from one state to another to adjust for population changes after the 1990 census and again after the 2000 census.

The début of opposing political parties introduced the motivation for gerrymandering. Gerrymandering is named for the 1812 Governor of Massachusetts, Elbridge Gerry, who “packed” political opponents to yield more representatives for his party. By “packing” and/or “diluting” the opposition, the gerrymander exaggerates the influence of his ideological allies.

Proof that gerrymandering is active is overwhelming and indisputable. The surprise is how openly and with such great pride gerrymanders tout their work. The redistricting done in 2001 and 2002 will predetermine most election outcomes in the U.S. (particularly at the state and federal levels) for the next decade or more.

The Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s was the impetus for finally achieving equal population districts. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 required the creation of majority-minority districts. This has resulted in a greater number of minority elected officials. But evidence is surfacing that the ability of minorities to influence policy may be diminished by pro-minority gerrymandering.

The U.S. has always had a two party system; but it has not always been “closed” to third party challenges. Third parties regularly challenged the two parties with new ideas and occasionally displaced one of them. The advent of ballot access restrictions, beginning in 1888 has insured that the two parties cannot now be similarly challenged. This leads to an unhealthy complacency, stagnation of ideas, and lack of accountability for both parties and does injury to American democracy.

Turnover, as measured by the number of freshmen members, in the U.S. House has been as high as 74% in 1842, but has declined steadily to the current level of less than 10%. Subtracting turnover due to death, health, scandal, and indictment, leaves only 1% to 2% turnover due to election defeats. The U.S. Congress has become an aristocracy. Nearly 80% of U.S. House races nationwide are won with an overwhelming landslide (a victory margin in excess of 20%).

At the state level the problem is equally bad. Of the roughly 6000 state legislative seats elected every two years nationwide about 40% are so “safe” that one of the two parties declines to offer an alternative candidate. Profound insight and wisdom are not required to accurately predict the vast majority of state and federal election outcomes.

The trend to more gerrymandering should be no surprise. Lacking counterbalancing reforms, the introduction of powerful computers, extensive demographic databases and computer mapping tools, the gerrymander is executing his task with increasing skill and precision. More clear-cut abuses are forcing the courts to be more actively involved to moderate gerrymandering extremism. The barrage of post-1992 lawsuits will be eclipsed this election cycle.

The courts should not be the source for political leadership and reform. Judicial activism diminishes both the stature of the judiciary as well as the other branches of government. However, most political leaders acquiesce to their obvious conflict of interest. Perhaps the most viable path to cure gerrymandering abuses and to reform the redistricting process is via the exercise by citizen-statesmen’s of the initiative petition process in the states.

Redistricting can be improved by removing control from politicians and using rigid objective redistricting criteria, such as equal population, continuity and compactness.

INTRODUCTION

“It used to be the voters chose the politicians,” said Rep. Tom Davis. “Now the politicians choose the voters.”[1] Technology has introduced a new era. One thing proven by the 2000 presidential election in Florida is that things will never be the same. Systems that worked adequately in the pre-technology era are ineffective for the new world. Those reluctant to embrace new technology are doomed to be manipulated by it. With respect to how we elect representatives we are already there.

The introduction of every new technology brings with it the opportunity to use it for good or ill. Thus far computing abilities, married with Geographic Information Systems and Census Bureau DIME files and TIGER files have been a boon to the gerrymander. It is time to rethink the relevance of districts and the decision-criteria for creating redistricts so the powers of these new technologies can be used to improve rather than injure self-government.

SELF GOVERNMENT
Democracy – Democracy is a form of government in which a substantial proportion of the citizenry directly or indirectly participates in ruling the state.[2] Under indirect democracy citizens elect officials to represent them. The word democracy is derived from the Greek words demos (“the people”) and kratia (“rule”). All citizens, rich and poor, participated equally in the Athenian direct democracy. However, only 10% of the people qualified as citizens; the remainder were minors, women, slaves, and foreigners. The Greek democracies eventually fell to imperial rule.

Rome developed representative democracy for a time with popular assemblies called “comitia,” in which the citizens met to elect officials and make laws. The comitia lost their power first to the aristocratic Roman Senate[3] and ultimately to emperors. Interest in democratic institutions was overshadowed by the need for security during the Dark Ages, yielding to rigid systems of feudalistic and monarchical government. Democratic ideas did not reappear on a significant scale until the 17th century. Over the centuries, councils of knights, church clergy and feudal lords advised their kings. At first council was mandated by the king; later they claimed advisory powers to their kings; and eventually they asserted themselves as representative bodies. The Baronial Council with its genesis from Magna Carta in 1215 eventually evolved over hundreds of years into the British Parliament.

The modern understanding of democracy is that citizens are sufficiently free in speech and assembly to form competing political parties and voters are able to choose among them in regularly held elections. All modern democracies outside of Europe and North America are products of the 20th century. Although most governments now call themselves democratic, many unaccountable political leaders dictate: “in the name of the people.”

Representation – Representation, in politics, is the type of democracy by which one person stands or acts on behalf of a larger number of individuals in formulating the policies and operations of a government.[4] Direct democracy is awkward and impractical. As people become more democratically enlightened, more peaceful and government functions become more devolved, opportunities for greater citizen participation will increase. Forms of democracy that exercise representation, indirect democracies, are called Republics. Republics that are too far removed or otherwise fail to represent the interests of their constituents may not work well. The inadequacy of colonial representation in the British parliament was a contributing factor to the American Revolution.

The notion of representation is complicated by two diametrically opposite views of the representative’s duty. The Thomas Hobbes view is that representatives are empowered by their election; unlimited in their subsequent authority to act. On the other hand, the Jean Jacques Rousseau view is that representatives must articulate the views of constituents; limited by the people’s will. Is representation defined by initial authorization or by final accountability? In the real world elected officials display a mix of both philosophies. The extent to which a given personality gravitates more to one extreme is reflected in their actions. Generally citizens are content to yield great latitude to their elected officials. When persistent excess is evident, citizens set new limits, such as the taxpayer revolts of the 1980’s and 1990’s that resulted in tax and spending limitations in many states and took the nation as near to a Federal constitutional convention as did woman’s suffrage and direct election of U.S. Senators.

Another controversy relates to when the representative should decide against the wishes of his constituents because of superior knowledge, enlightened perspective or refined judgment. A large number of elected officials are as content to dictate when they know little, as when they know much. Politicians and political institutions are not only reluctant to change; they are resistant it. The thought of them reforming themselves is a fantasy. They do not exercise leadership to invent mechanisms of improved governance. There is not a single issue that at least a few citizen-constituents could not add to the knowledge of their representatives. Yet, systems to incorporate citizen-knowledge into policy lag. Is there no will to improve governance?

Effective Representation – All forms of democracy give a voice to the majority. The challenge is how to effectively provide a reasonable voice to every minority. Fundamental individual rights are enumerated in and are protected by the Constitution. Ensuring that minority voices are considered during policy making is another matter. Majorities sometimes impose unfair burdens upon a minority. This problem is most grievous when the state involves itself in policies of redistribution and of rewarding the worthy through a modern pork-barrel spoil system. To consider the extent and implications of spoils upon representation, the role of constitutional protections to individuals, the ultimate minority in any society, or the proper role and size of government in society is outside the scope of this analysis.

Monolithic Constituencies – Constituencies are not monolithic. People are different and view issues differently. People who agree on one issue do not necessarily agree when the issue changes. The two political parties preserve control by perpetuating the myth that people view issues monolithically: “If you don’t agree with me on this, then you must agree with them on everything.” The form precludes that you might actually think and have unique perspectives that permit you rationally to possess a variable set of ideas, change your mind, or even oppose both party-lines. As society grows more complex, issues become increasingly multidimensional and less bipolar. When there are many perspectives, the number of minority views increases dramatically. Because the number of issues is very large and the different ways people see them is also large, the number of minority views is nearly infinite.

HISTORY OF U.S. REPRESENTATION
The Evolution of Districts – Four states did not have Congressional Districts in 1788 when the first Congress was elected. All members of the U.S. House from these states were elected at-large from their respective state. At-large means, everyone votes for each Congressional seat. If a sharply dividing issue defined the election of Pennsylvania’s eight Representatives, all eight seats might be captured by the 51% side. This effectively leaves 49% of the population without representation.

Single Member Districts – A step in the direction of curing the problem of minority representation was to create smaller geographic districts. Though it is not specified in the Constitution, the Founders intended that states would create districts. Geographic districts do not necessarily insure minority representation. All of Pennsylvania’s seats could be won by the 51% if they were uniformly distributed over the entire geography or if district boundaries were artfully gerrymandered to capture or exclude pockets of voters. Without gerrymandering the randomness of concentrated pockets of minority voting interest would allow large minority interests to achieve a majority in some geographic districts. The first Federal mandate of single-member districts came in the Apportionment Act of 1842.[5]

Creating districts was a prerogative of the respective state. Conformity and consistency among the states evolved slowly. By the time of the 1790 election, ten of fifteen states had created geographic districts (two states had a single representative and three states elected representatives at-large). County boundaries were sacrosanct; the notions of equal-population, continuity, and compactness had not yet been conceived.

At-Large Districts – The trend from at-large elections was slow. At least one state elected all of its representatives at-large through the election of 1862. In the 53 elections between 1864 and 1968 one or more states elected all of its representatives at-large in 36 (68%) elections. No state with multiple representatives has elected representatives at-large since 1968. The Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s resulted in a barrage of court rulings and Federal legislation that changed districting forever, mandating single-member districts and equal population on the grounds of “one person, one vote.”[6] Hawaii was the last state to use an at-large Congressional election in 1968; New Mexico used it in 1966. Redistricting difficulties produced concerns that Oklahoma would be forced to return to at-large elections in 2002.[7]

Mixed Representation – Sometimes states chose to have both a number of geographic Congressional Districts as well as other representatives elected at-large. In 1862 Illinois became the first state to mix geographic and at-large representation with thirteen geographic Congressional Districts and one seat at-large. Nine other states mixed representation after the 1870 census.[8] Indifference to equal population allowed redistricting to be bypassed. Because there was no Congressional reapportionment after the 1920 census, only four of 48 states did any Congressional redistricting prior to the 1922 election. When additional Congressional seats were apportioned to a state, the need to redistrict was sometimes postponed or skipped altogether by electing the additional seat(s) at-large. The number of at-large seats nationwide regularly spiked up in the election following the census reapportionment year and diminished in subsequent elections as redistricting was achieved. Had Utah prevailed in 2002 to capture a North Carolina’s seat, the additional seat could have been an at-large seat.[9] Similar problems arose after the 1990 census when a Federal court stuck down Florida’s 3rd Congressional District as excessively racially gerrymandered. As a quick fix one suggestion was to revert to the pre-census districts and to make the additionally apportioned four congressional seats at-large statewide.[10]

Internal At-Large Districts – Another approach used was internal at-large districts, sometimes called multi-member or plurality districts. A state with several representatives designated an area as a single district with a number of seats. This was first done in 1792. Massachusetts divided its fourteen seats into three Congressional Districts; two with four and one with two representatives; one representative was at-large statewide. Maine was part of Massachusetts in 1792 and was treated as a single district with three internal at-large representatives.[11] Massachusetts went to fourteen single-member Congressional Districts in 1794. In 1796 Pennsylvania made eleven single-member districts and one two-member district. After the 1800 census Pennsylvania was apportioned eighteen representatives, redistricted into eleven districts: seven were single-member; one was two-member; and three were three-member districts. Maryland also placed two of its nine representative in a two-member district. New York experimented with six two-member districts after the 1810 census. After 1830 the practice declined and it ceased after 1840.

Apportionment – Apportionment is the process whereby the members of the U.S. House are allocated among the states. “Representatives shall be apportioned among the several states … according to their numbers.”[12] The number of Representatives and the method of apportionment are not specified. Thus, there is an Appropriation Law approved by Congress in association with each census. It specifies the number of Representatives, the method of apportioning them among the states and the number each state shall receive. The size of the U.S. House changed regularly until reaching 435 members in 1910. The size of the House increased to 437 members when Alaska and Hawaii became states in 1958 but returned to 435 after the next census. Congress must choose from five known methods to apportion its members among the states. The Huntingdon Method has been used since 1950.[13] It first assigns one seat to each state and then distributes the remaining 385 seats. Although there has not been great controversy over this step, there is some. Utah contended in 2002 in a Supreme Court challenge that Congress erred in apportioning to the states and that Utah should have received a 4th seat that was mistakenly assigned to North Carolina.[14] The court ruled against Utah.

THE EXPERIMENT IN SELF GOVERNMENT

Republican Form – The Founders determined to “guarantee to every State a Republican Form of Government.[15]” This meant first that no state could have a monarchy; and secondly, of the many types of democracy conceivable, one that employed some form of elective representation was required. The specific design of a state’s “republican form” would be addressed outside of the U.S. Constitution. How many state representatives would there be; how would the representatives be chosen; how many branches and houses would there be; what qualifications might be there be for office; what would be the degree of and means of accountability; how would authority be granted or limited; what would be the state’s scope of responsibility; how much staff support would there be; what would be their compensation; what would be their privileges of office, and so on?

Initial Representation – Representation in the U.S. House shall be recalculated every ten years after the census beginning in 1790.[16] With no census data in 1787, the Founders agreed to 65 Representatives for the First Congress apportioned among the states as follows in Table 1.
Table 1

U.S. REPRESENTATIVES PRIOR TO THE FIRST CENSUS

STATE NUMBER OF REPRESENTATIVES

New Hampshire

3

Massachusetts

8

Rhode Island

1

Connecticut

5

New York

6

New Jersey

4

Pennsylvania

8

Delaware

1

Maryland

6

Virginia

10

North Carolina

5

South Carolina

5

Georgia

3

TOTAL

65

Apportionment Ratio – The U.S. House would now have over 9500 members, if the ratio of one Representative to each 30,000 of population were still used. But the Constitution says, “at least 30,000,”[17] which gives Congress the authority to adjust its number of members. Fear of loss of influence because of heavy immigration and rural to urban migration motivated rural interests to stall the 1920 apportionment legislation for nearly a decade. Table 2[18] is a History of Apportionment of the U.S. House seats to each state after every census. Table 3[19] shows the History of Apportionment in terms of the Changes. Twelve U.S. House seats changed states after the 2000 census. The number of seats that change after each census will slow as each district grows to represent greater population. With growth geographic population density disparities will moderate, making the threshold for moving Congressional Districts among the states increasingly difficult to achieve. Table 4 shows Apportionment of House seats assuming Uniform Population Density across the entire U.S. Although uniform population density is not likely to occur, this table provides a glimpse of future possibilities. For example, it is very unlikely that Colorado would ever grow to exceed thirteen Representatives; and if this happens, it will not occur for many decades.


Table 2

CONGRESSIONAL APPORTIONMENT HISTORY

Table 3

CONGRESSIONAL APPORTIONMENT CHANGES

Table 4
CONGRESSIONAL APPORTIONMENT

UNIFORM POPULATION DENSITY

Genesis of Parties – Aware of the difficulties they caused in British government, the Founders opposed political parties and naively anticipated that there would be none in the U.S. Evidence of their error soon surfaced in the form of increasing friction between the members of George Washington’s superstar cabinet. Believing that Washington too frequently sided with Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson resigned his post as the nation’s first Secretary of State in December 1793.[20]

The friction did not end there. Alarmed at Washington’s choice of John Adams to be his successor, Jefferson opposed Adams for the presidency in 1796 and 1800. The election of 1800 is called the “Revolution of 1800,”[21] referring to the first peaceful transfer of power between ideological opponents. Adams left in the night before Inauguration to avoid meeting Jefferson. Both the military and the judiciary had become heavily populated with Federalists. During the eighteen months that the Alien and Sedition Acts were in force 25 writers, publishers and printers were prosecuted[22] and ten were imprisoned for making statements against the government. They were freed and their fines returned in 1801. In his first inaugural address on March 4, 1801, Jefferson called for less partisanship. “Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all republicans; we are all federalists.”[23]

Text Box:   Elections are Destabilizing – The tension of the two-party doctrine identifies popular sovereignty with choice, and then limits choice to one party or the other.   Defenders of the closed-two-party system argue that it provides stability.  If stability is the critical measure, then their logic would weigh equally in favor of a monarch, a dictator, an aristocracy, or a one-party system. Such alternatives are absurd and fundamentally undemocratic.  Democracy is a relative term.  More citizen-control is generally better than less.  Democratically mature societies are more capable of keeping the stress of political conflict within a rational perspective.  No American was willing to harm himself or others over whether Gore or Bush became president.  The same maturity has yet to develop in younger democracies.  Who should decide how much democracy is right?  Believers in self-government owe gratitude to John Adams and Alexander Hamilton, defeated-Federalists, for their actions during the GERRYMANDERING

Text Box: Figure 1. Gerrymandered district as published in the Boston Gazette, March 26, 1812. Origin – As quickly as the U.S. decided to have Congressional Districts, the controversy about how to create them began. The reality of two competing parties was alive. The Democratic-Republicans (Jeffersonians) advocated the polar-opposite perspective to the Federalists (Hamiltonians). Elbridge Gerry, Democratic-Republican, signer of the Declaration of Independence, delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention, and fifth Vice President of the U.S. was Governor of Massachusetts. The Democratic-Republicans controlled the Massachusetts legislature and “packed”[24] known pockets of Federalist voters into a state senate district. This left a long meandering narrow Democratic-Republican district surrounding the Federalist district. Gerry disliked the district, but refused to veto it. The Federalist press likened the shape to a salamander and initiated the term “gerrymander.” [25]

How Gerrymandering Works – Consider a hypothetical state with ten districts. The Blue Party accounts for 41% of voters; the Yellow Party has 59%. If the Blue Party controls redistricting, it can maximize the number of Blue representatives by concentrate eight districts with 51% Blue voters. On the other hand, if the Yellow Party controls redistricting, the number of Yellow representatives can be exaggerated by “packing” the Blues into a few districts. This might yield four safe Blue and six safe Yellow districts. The Yellows may also “dilute” Blue representation by creating ten districts, each with 41% Blue population. At-large districts would yield ten seats for the Yellows.
TABLE 5[26]
GERRYMANDERING SENSITIVITY ANALYSIS

Blue Population per District

Population Representatives

Scenario

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

Blue %

Yellow %

Blue Seats

Yellow Seats

Blue-Control

51%

51%

51%

51%

51%

51%

51%

51%

0

%

0

%

41%

59

%

8

2

Yellow-Control

Blues Packed

100% 100% 100% 100% 10%

0

%

0

%

0

%

0

%

0

%

41%

59

%

4

6

Yellow-Control

Blues Diluted

41%

41% 41% 41% 41% 41% 41% 41% 41% 41% 41%

59

%

0

10

The potential effect of gerrymandering is not trivial. Blue’s 41% of the population might yield anywhere from zero to eight representatives out of ten. As long as gerrymandering is permitted, control of redistricting will have more influence on election outcomes than any other factor, including voters.

Gerrymanders also ply their talents locally. That is, the gerrymander can insure that Sally Smith ends up with a district friendly or unfriendly to her election. “Representative Peter Deutsch (D-Florida) chaired the Congressional redistricting committee in 1992, when he drew himself a House seat.”[27] It appears that Florida’s redistricting committee chairman in 2001, state Representative Mario Diaz-Balart, will also soon become a Congressman.[28] In North Carolina, “the chairman of the state redistricting committee is running for a new congressional seat that he himself mapped out.”[29] In 45 states redistricting is the domain of the state legislature.[30] The conflict of interest is brutally obvious when legislators are allowed to determine their own districts. To the extent that political parties cooperate and compromise with each other, the process degenerated into a conspiracy against competitive elections, undermining the notions of representation and accountability. At least 80% of the 80 state house seats in California will be “safe” as a byproduct of redistricting: 38 “safe” Democratic and 27 “safe” Republican.[31]

Gerrymandering Sensitivity – The example illustrated in Table 5 shows the possibilities when 41% of the voters favor the Blues. Figure 2 shows the effect of Blue-Controlled redistricting versus Yellow-Controlled redistricting as the percent of voters loyal to Blues varies. This illustration reveals that control over the redistricting process can result in a swing in representation of about five out of ten seats (50%).

Figure 2. The effect of redistricting control on the number of seats elected.

In the real world the gerrymander’s mission is complicated by additional variables: about one-third of voters are not affiliated to either party; about half of affiliated voters are not loyal to their party; 1% does not provide sufficient margin of risk protection for fixing elections; voter loyalties are not clearly identifiable or conveniently concentrated. That said, the concept holds true and gerrymandering at the beginning of the 21st century is as serious a problem as it has ever been in American history and he who control redistricting has an enormous advantage.

Redistricting Rules – Redistricting was a state-right. Federal Apportionment Statutes did not attempt to impose gerrymandering uniformity rules until 1842. That law required contiguous single-member districts. The contiguity requirement was the first Federal effort to reign in gerrymandering. No longer could a state use disconnected pieces to make up districts. The 1872 Act added the requirement: “nearly equal population.”[32] “Nearly equal” is not the same as “equal” and morphed into a subjective term. In 1901 the word “compact” appeared for the first time as a districting criteria. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was one of many reforms during the Civil Rights Movement. It prohibits practices that “dilute the effectiveness of votes cast by racial and ethnic minorities” and prevents practices “designed to make it difficult for racial minorities to elect candidates of their choice.”[33] Redistricting has evolved from state-control to Congressional-control to court-control.

Malapportionment – Malapportionment is the process of creating districts with unequal populations. Although Federal law required equal population districts beginning in 1872, districts did not become equal in population until the Baker v. Carr[34] Supreme Court ruling of 1962. The logic of “proportionate share of political influence”[35] easily evolved to “one person, one vote,” when contrasted with outrageous population disparities. Tennessee had not redrawn its state legislative districts in over 50 years. Population migration from rural to urban setting resulted in over-representation of rural areas and under-representation of urban areas: de facto pro-rural/anti-urban gerrymandering. Baker v. Carr applied to Congressional and state legislative districts, but more importantly the court intervened, asserting jurisdiction as a “political concern.” Baker v. Carr distinguished, “the defense of political rights from imprudent intervention into political disputes.”[36] In 1946 the court had refused to consider, on the grounds that redistricting was a political concern outside the court’s jurisdiction, the Colegrove v. Green[37] case in which neighboring Illinois Congressional districts had population disparities of 8:1. In the summer of 1964, 130 resolutions and bills were introduced to restore Congressional jurisdiction over redistricting.[38] None passed. Remarkably similar to the Pope’s effort to invalidate the Magna Carta in 1216,[39] the actions of Congress illustrate that political institutions are incapable of reforming themselves and resist reform with every fiber of their might. The Baker v. Carr ruling was expanded by a flurry of court cases. The Reynolds v. Sims[40] case was against the Alabama practice used since 1901 whereby one-quarter of the population could elect a majority of state senators and representatives. Population variation between state house districts was as high as 41:1.[41] Chief Justice Warren wrote, “The weight of a citizen’s vote cannot be made to depend on where he lives. Legislators are elected by voters, not farms or cities or economic interests … The right to vote freely for the candidate of one’s choice is of the essence of a democratic society, and any restrictions on that right strike at the heart of representative government. And the right of suffrage can be denied by a debasement or dilution of the weight of a citizen’s vote just as effectively as by wholly prohibiting the free exercise of the franchise.”[42] Wesberry v. Sanders[43] reconciled a Georgia Congressional District population disparity of 3:1. Kirkpatrick v. Preisler tightened “nearly equal” to “no population variance is excusable without compelling evidence.”[44] In 2002 a Pennsylvania Court invalidated a Congressional redistricting plan supposedly because of a population disparity of 3/1000th of one percent.[45] Population equality, like continuity, has evolved to be a rigid objective redistricting criteria.

VOTING RIGHTS

Color-Blind Society – In a truly color-blind society blacks and whites would be unaffected by race. All would consider the character, intellect, leadership and creativity of individual candidates and both blacks and whites would vote indiscriminately for candidates irrespective of race. In office the color-blind legislator would also advance color-blind policies. The same would hold for every race, nationality, religion, and ethnic group: Hispanics, Asian, Native American, Arab, Jew, Muslim, or Buddhist. This color-blind legislator would apply the same neutral values in formatting policy regarding other oppressed minorities; the disabled, obese, short, blind, baled, insomniac and asthmatic. The potential list of minorities is inexhaustible. Every conceivable trait of an individual personality might also be defined as an oppressed minority. Every possible combination of traits is another minority, each a potential victim of oppression. Even the context for traditional racial, religious and ethnic minorities is clouded as more families become inter-racial, inter-religious and inter-ethnic. Tiger Woods’ deflected focus from his ethnicity by labeling himself: Cablinasian (Caucasian, Black, Indian, and Asian). When America someday achieves this color-blind ideal, elected bodies will more closely approximate the demographic profile of the population. Congress will have more minorities, more women, more teachers and more engineers; and fewer attorneys and professional politicians.

America’s obsession with black racism is fueled by a history inconsistent with the Founding principles and the simple fact that the black minority is large (12% of U.S. population). How smaller minorities are handled will reveal how much has been learned from the sad and embarrassing plight of blacks. Are we truly as enlightened and compassionate as we convince ourselves we are?

Bad History – By the end of the Civil War, the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1868, stated that no law shall deny any citizen—determined now by birth or naturalization—the privileges of U.S. citizenship. This meant that the right to vote would not be denied or abridged to any male of 21 years of age. The 15th Amendment followed two years later, in an attempt to override state laws that directly prevented black suffrage. It stated that the right to vote would not be denied or abridged on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. Laws disenfranchising blacks arose instituting poll taxes, literacy tests, vouchers of “good character” and disqualification for “crimes of moral turpitude.” These measures were successful at removing nearly all black legislators from state posts, and barring black voters from significant involvement for decades.[46] Figure 3 illustrates the disfranchisement of black voters following reconstruction that led to the elimination of black southern legislators by 1900, and the re-enfranchisement of black citizens after 1960.

 

Section 5 – Section 5 of the VRA lists sixteen states guilty of discriminatory redistricting practices. These states are required to submit redistricting plans for approval by the U.S. Justice Department. After the 1990 Census, North Carolina created a reapportionment plan with one of twelve Congressional Districts being a “majority-minority” district. Majority-minority means the majority of voters in that district are of a racial minority. But the Justice Department rejected the plan under the VRA stating that because 20% of North Carolina’s population was black, that North Carolina must have two majority-minority districts. This was the genesis of the infamous NC-12th Congressional District (Figure 5). It snaked along Interstate 85, occasionally ballooning out to capture pockets of black residents and, at times, remaining contiguous only at a single point. The district’s bizarre shape was challenged in Shaw v. Reno.[51] It was remanded by the U.S. Supreme Court to federal district court for review under strict scrutiny. The lower court upheld the shape, but the district was challenged again in 1996 in Shaw v. Hunt and the Supreme Court ruled against the shape.

Limits – The Shaw cases set an important historic voting rights precedent. It is possible to go too far in creating majority-minority districts. Voting rights observers eagerly await each successive court ruling for clearer direction as to how much racial gerrymandering is proper. A standard for compactness appears to be lacking, but a plausible means of reconciling apparently conflicting redistricting criteria has yet to be devised.

Black Representation – The VRA has resulted in greater numbers of black-majority districts and more black state legislators and U.S. Representatives. But whether these numbers have helped or hurt black representation is a different question. The VRA assumes that people vote racially. Gradual achievement of the color-blind ideal will reveal the impropriety of the assumption. “Is it better for political minorities to wield a modest amount of influence in many districts or substantial influence in only a few?” is the question posed by Columbia University political scientists in their work, “Do Majority-Minority Districts Maximize Substantive Black Representation in Congress?”[52] The professors found that dilution of minority influence in surrounding areas leads to an overall decrease in support for minority-sponsored legislation. Using regression they empirically determined that “Outside the South, substantive minority representation is best served by distributing black voters equally among all districts. In the South, the key is to maximize the number of districts with slightly less than a majority of black voters. We note that black candidates have a healthy chance of winning election outside majority-black districts and that the 65% rule enforced by the court is almost certainly too stringent; it dilutes rather than increases overall minority voting strength. Overall, maximizing the number of minority representatives does not, necessarily maximize minority representation.”[53] Another researcher interviewed all black members of the U.S. House in 1990 and concluded, “black representatives can win election outside majority-black districts by emphasizing issues important to their broad constituency and white representatives will advance some of the issues important to their black voters. A majority-minority districting strategy has only limited possibilities and multiracial districts offer the greatest avenue of advancing minority political interest.”[54] Craig Washington, black U.S. Representative from Texas in 1993, said, “If you have four districts in a state like Alabama, for example, with a sufficiently large black population to neutralize Republicans on some issues, and if you can create one black district by gathering up all the blacks, and in the process you lose the leverage that you had in the three other districts, then that’s foolish to me. Every time the one person votes for the things that the black community is for, the other three will probably vote against them.”[55] “Voices from within and without the civil rights community have begun to doubt the efficacy of majority-minority districts.”[56]

THE TYRANNY OF TWO PARTYS
Contentment or Control – The U.S. has always had two dominant parties. Two major parties had far more support than other parties. The “winner-take-all electoral system ensures that we will have only two major parties.”[57] A major distinction between the 19th and 20th centuries is the movement to a closed-two-party system. The National Republican Party displaced the Federalist Party in 1820; the Whig Party replaced the National Republican Party and in 1854 the Republican Party replaced the Whigs.[58] Competition surfaced for the last time in the 1890’s when the Populist Party captured numerous Governor and Congressional seats. There has been no serious challenge to the two current major parties in over a century. Is this because of contentment or because two-party control?

Ballot Access – “The Democrats and Republicans, who control ballot access procedures, would have us believe that no major third party has emerged because the voters see no need for one. … voter apathy, low turnout and the decline in major party affiliation would seem to indicate otherwise.”[59] The parties have insulated themselves from competition with difficult and restrictive ballot access laws. There were no ballot access laws before 1888.[60] In 1924 a new party could reach the ballot in every state with 50,000 signatures, or 0.15% of voters.[61] A party can achieve the same thing in Russia now with about the same (0.15%) percentage. However, in the U.S in addition to the complexity of different requirements and deadlines in every state, the qualification requirement is estimated to have grown to over 3.5 million signatures,[62] about 3.5%, over 20 times more restrictive. The two parties do not impose similar restrictions upon themselves. “America’s ballot-access laws are so stringent, and third parties are repressed to such a degree, that the U.S. is probably in violation of the Copenhagen Meeting Document, an international agreement the U.S. signed in 1990.”[63] It states, “… respect the right of individuals and groups to establish, in full freedom, their own political organizations and provide such political parties and organizations with the necessary legal guarantees to enable them to compete with each other on the basis of equal treatment before the law and the authorities.” Billionaire, Ross Perot, spend hundreds of millions to overcome ballot access barriers, to mobilize disaffected voters, and to form the Reform Party. In 1992 he received 20 million votes, but no electoral votes. His staggering effort produced only minor shockwaves to the intransigent status quo.

Need for Competition – Closing off competition from third parties also closes off the two parties to new ideas, injuring them, the election process and the formation of viable and relevant public policies. The two parties need the threat of being displaced in order to be open to issues and ideas important to the people. Isolation from competition leads to electoral and policy stagnation. A USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll found that “46% of Americans want to take on the two-party system”[64]
Voter Turnout – Observers lament the persistent decline in voter participation. “According to Census Bureau figures, almost 80% of the eligible population went to the polls from 1875 to 1892.”[65] Voter turnout is now less than 50%. Gridlock and low voter turnout are “signs of a two-party system that is not operating properly.”[66] The right of voters to abstain is as inherent as the voting right itself. Voter turnout critics see problems with the individuals who chose to not vote, but fail to recognize the deeper message sent by their refusal to vote. Efforts to make voting easier such as mail-in-ballots and early voting are good, but fail to address the serious problem that elections no longer matter.
Elections are Destabilizing – The two-party doctrine identifies popular sovereignty with choice, and then limits choice to one party or the other.[67] Defenders of the closed-two-party system argue that it provides stability. If stability were the critical measure, then their logic would weigh equally in favor of monarchy, dictatorship, aristocracy, or a one-party system. Such alternative forms are absurd and fundamentally undemocratic. Democracy is a relative term. More citizen-control is generally better than less. Democratically mature societies are more capable of keeping the stress of political conflict within a rational perspective. No American was willing to harm others or himself over the Gore or Bush vote-counting debacle. The same maturity is developing in younger democracies. Who should decide how much democracy is the right amount?

Believers in self-government owe gratitude to John Adams and Alexander Hamilton, defeated-Federalists, for their actions during the “Revolution of 1800.” This was the first example of peaceful transfer of political power between ideological opponents and teaches an invaluable lesson to other democracies and to subsequent generations. The U.S. might have gone down the path of violent civil conflict. But instead, the U.S. showed the world that elections are civilized tools for reconciling conflicts wisely.

Elections do fuel the same passions as violent conflicts. Election losers find no contentment in defeat. Therefore, every player who courageously congratulates his victor reinforces the legacy of Adams and advances the goals of civilized self-government for all people. Americans now share over 200 years of similar experiences. It seems trite, disingenuous and self-serving of those who suggest that more competitive elections would destabilize American society.

THE STAKES

How Big? – As long as government is doles pork to its friends, the two parties must compete to determine the friends. This “modern spoil system” is the rationale for special interest campaign contributions as “investments.” Contributors are rewarded for investment. Some donors cover their odds by investing with both political parties. Privilege is financed at the expense of wise and fair public policy. Similar incentives were far less extreme in 1902 when all government combined consumed only 5.4%[68] of the nation’s wealth. The pork incentives worked and by 2002 combined outlays for federal, state and local governments consumed 32.1%[69] of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product. Over the last 100 years the U.S. economy has grown by 90 times; government has grown 5.9 times faster than the economy, to be 535 times bigger. Another source estimates consumption of the nation’s wealth at 43% and Nobel Prize Economist, Milton Friedman believes that 43% is low.[70] As government pork distribution grows, so do special interest campaign contributions. It would be unnatural indeed if enlarged rewards were not sought more aggressively with more funding. Counterbalancing systems that resist growth of the spoil system are inadequate.

Public Choice Theory – Every special privilege government grant does injury to every citizen. Though each tyranny is ever so small the net effect is not small and equates to a torturous death by a thousand cuts. Dr. James Buchanan earned the 1986 Nobel Prize in Economics for the development of “public choice theory.” The theory asserts that the behavior of political actors is predictable on economic grounds. That is, special interests succeed most when benefits are concentrated and costs are distributed widely. Public choice theory is proven by the disparity in testimony. In Colorado, “chances are 96% that a witness is a beneficiary”[71] of the bill. Before the U.S. Congress, a witness favors more spending over 99% of the time.[72]

Resistance is Futile – The cards are stacked such that even the fiscally restrained legislator is overwhelmed. In fact their willingness to resist diminishes with tenure. The spending that Federal legislators support increase by 8.5 times[73] after only 6 years of Federal service. It does not take long for them to learn that they can use the spoil-system to buy votes and media exposure with taxpayers’ dollars, a benefit of office that no challenger can match.

WHEN ELECTIONS ARE NOT ELECTIONS
Election – The word election comes from the Latin electus meaning “to pick out” or “choose”. The dictionary defines election as: 1) The act or process of electing; The act or process of choosing a person for office, position, or membership by voting; An instance of the electorate’s exercising its function. 2) The fact or status of being elected.[74] All of these infer choice, competition, risk of losing and more. The data show that American elections no longer offer these elements. Lacking these features, Americans are fooled into believing that their votes matter.

Incumbent Protection Systems – Much has been written about the special advantages elected officials (especially Congresspersons) confer upon themselves to make challenges difficult. An abbreviated list of incumbent protection systems follows:

  • Pork to the home district. This type of pork takes the form of a museum, highway, disaster relief, etc. The impact on election competition is enormous.
  • Access to Media. They appear at every event, parade, disaster and catastrophe and are quoted. They orchestrate media coverage at will by releasing the results of a study, announcing a grant, calling for an investigation, or simply issuing a media advisory.
  • Name recognition. Over the span of election cycles, by repetitious drumbeat a name is conditioned into the psyche of voters.
  • Pork to special interests. Special interests reward a favorable voting record at election time with money and votes. Even a marginal voting record is preferred over an unknown challenger.
  • Closed Two-Party System. It insures that no third party or independent can mount a serious challenge.
  • “Safe” Districts. The two parties work together to minimize their respective election risk. It is better for the minor party to have a level of certainty regarding their base number of legislative seats.
  • Expensepaid District trips. Taxpayer-paid trips started in 1962 with three trips and increased gradually to become unlimited after 1977.[75]
  • Franking. This is a privilege that incumbent Congresspersons enjoy, whereby they send free mail to inform constituents. The average “frank” (from the Latin francus meaning free) allowance in 1995 was estimated at $109,000.[76] The frank rivals the average total funding a challenger is able to raise for the entire campaign.
  • Fundraising ability. U.S. House incumbents outspend challengers by five to one[77] and typically retain more in reserve for the next election than a challenger is likely to raise.
  • Constituent Services. Constituent service means bigger Congressional staffs. A single support person amounts to a taxpayer-paid re-election advocate. Before 1893 there were no personal staffs in the U.S. House. These grew to exceed 12,000[78] people in 1994. More constituent service safely secures more votes for the next election and leaves less time for the sticky business of legislating difficult policy issues. Less involvement in policy work also yields less exposure to voter accountability.

Imperial Congress – Table 6, U.S. House Turnover History, shows that Congress has become an aristocracy. The ratio of Representatives seeking reelection has increased
and their rate of reelection has also increased. Voters are increasingly obliged to return them to office hoping that they will recover pork due for taxes yielded. For most of history it was common for the number of freshmen in the U.S. House to exceed 50%. In 1842 the U.S. House had 74% freshmen. Total turnover in the second half of the 20th century has declined steadily to be less than 10%. The number of freshmen is an aggregate of all turnover factors. In addition to the occasional election loss, retirement, death, indictment, scandal and health are some of the other factors that elevate turnover numbers. As a matter of fact, losing an election is one of the smaller risk factors. “Many Congressmen feel that they’ve been elected for life. If they can control redistricting, stay alive and out of jail, they know that 99 times out of 100 they can have the job for as long as they want it,” said former representative James Coyne of Pennsylvania.[79]

Table 6 TURNOVER HISTORY IN US CONGRESS
Election year Prior # of memebers # who ran for re-elect # re-elected % of whole house who returned # members in this session # freshmen freshmen % of whole
1890 325 260 179 54.1 325 146 44.9
1892 325 264 208 62.6 356 148 41.6
1894 356 270 180 50.6 356 176 49.4
1896 356 288 210 58.8 356 146 41.0
1898 356 302 250 70.0 356 106 29.8
1900 356 303 268 75.1 356 88 24.7
1902 356 297 257 72.0 386 129 33.4
1904 386 338 303 78.5 386 83 21.5
1906 386 335 291 75.4 386 95 24.6
1908 386 354 310 79.3 386 76 19.7
1910 386 338 266 68.0 386 120 31.1
1912 386 341 280 64.4 435 155 35.6
1914 435 374 299 68.7 435 136 31.3
1916 435 400 351 80.7 435 84 19.3
1918 435 389 329 75.6 435 106 24.4
1920 435 385 314 72.2 435 121 27.8
1922 435 384 304 69.9 435 131 30.1
1924 435 401 357 82.1 435 78 17.9
1926 435 405 376 86.4 435 59 13.6
1928 435 404 364 83.7 435 71 16.3
1930 435 407 350 80.5 435 85 19.5
1932 435 392 271 62.3 435 164 37.7
1934 435 388 325 74.7 435 110 25.3
1936 435 388 340 78.2 435 95 21.8
1938 435 402 318 73.1 435 117 26.9
1940 435 407 361 83.0 435 74 17.0
1942 435 395 328 75.4 435 107 24.6
1944 435 405 357 82.1 435 78 17.9
1946 435 398 328 75.4 435 107 24.6
1948 435 400 317 72.9 435 118 27.1
1950 435 400 362 84.2 435 73 16.8
1952 435 389 354 84.4 435 81 18.6
1954 435 407 379 87.1 435 56 12.9
1956 435 411 389 89.4 435 46 10.6
1958 435 396 356 81.8 435 79 18.2
1960 435 405 375 86.2 435 60 13.8
1962 435 402 368 84.6 435 67 15.4
1964 435 397 344 79.1 435 91 20.9
1966 435 411 362 83.2 435 73 16.8
1968 435 409 396 91.0 435 39 9.0
1970 435 401 379 87.1 435 56 12.9
1972 435 390 365 83.9 435 70 16.1
1974 435 391 343 78.9 435 92 21.1
1976 435 384 368 84.6 435 67 15.4
1978 435 382 358 82.3 435 77 17.7
1980 435 398 361 83.0 435 74 17.0
1982 435 393 354 81.4 435 81 18.6
1984 435 409 390 90.1 435 45 10.3
1986 435 393 385 88.5 435 50 11.5
1988 435 409 402 92.4 435 33 7.6
1990 435 407 391 89.9 435 44 10.1
1992 435 368 325 74.7 435 110 25.3
1994 435 387 349 80.2 435 86 19.8
1996 435 384 361 83 435 74 17
1998 435 403 395 90.8 435 40 9.2
2000 435 401 392 90.1 435 43 9.9

Figure 4 shows turnover graphically. An aristocracy would have no turnover because of election defeats. Turnover in the British House of Lords, appointed for life, is virtually identical to turnover in the U.S. House. Thirty or forty fresh faces in a body of 435 and out of a population of 285 million people are hardly noticeable.

Figure 4. Freshmen in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Full Federal Picture – Of the 435 seats in the U.S. House after the 1990 census, experts estimated that redistricting yielded about 100 competitive[80] seats nationwide. This means, of course, that 335 (or 77%) were not competitive. They were “safe” seats. These estimates are reinforced by the Landslide Index computed by the Center for Voting and Democracy. CVD defines landslide as a winning margin of 20%. In 2000 landslides occurred in 337 U.S. House races (77.5%).[81] Experts predict even more “safe” seats after the 2000 census redistricting is completed. “Amy Walter, the House analyst for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, predicted that 50 seats will be contested by the parties in 2002.”[82] Mark Gersh, Democratic Party redistricting guru, predicted “50 to 55 competitive seats.”[83] Of the 105 seats from California, Texas and Illinois, no more than four or five races in those three states combined[84] are expected to be competitive. A mildly informed political observer should be able to accurately predict the outcome of 90% to 95% of the 2002 U.S. House races.

2002 Redistricting Manipulations – “The two major parties have once again carved up the United States into bizarre little fiefdoms.”[85] “Many of the new maps were created with the help of computer programs that allow parties to design, with pinpoint accuracy, advantageous districts.”[86] Professor Michael McDonald, a University of Illinois redistricting expert calls the Illinois map “probably the most egregious case of incumbent-protection gerrymandering in the history of the United States.”[87]

The notion of fairness and objectivity evades the redistricting process. The general shift of twelve seats (both after reapportionment in 1990[88] and again in 2000) from predominantly Democratic Party north and eastern states to predominantly Republican Party south and western states might predictably have strengthened the Republican Party in the U.S. House. After the 1990 census with a majority of 100 seats it was not so important to Democrats, but after 2000 the Republicans had a six-seat majority. Democratic Party strategists determined to negate this Republican advantage after 2000 through state redistricting. The Democratic National Committee budgeted $13 million to “minimize expected GOP gains”[89] by influence on state redistricting. Greg Speed, spokesman for the Democratic Party said, “Redistricting has been an incredible success so far for Democrats.”[90]

In West Virginia, the lone Republican Congressman will unexpectedly retain her seat because “two veteran Democrats declined to remake their own districts substantially.”[91] “Members (of Congress) are all concerned about making their districts better, even if they have good districts, said Rep. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.”[92] When Brown threatened to run for governor against Republican Robert Taft, if he was not granted a “safe” seat, Taft made it clear that Brown’s Congressional seat was to remain “safe.”[93] In New York, “the goal is … to give as many legislators as possible seats so safe that nothing short of a murder indictment could pry them out of power.”[94] In Pennsylvania an incumbent Congressman opened a media campaign on behalf of his preferred district.[95] A typical tactic of the gerrymander is to place two incumbents of the same party in the same district. The longest serving U.S. House member from Michigan was expected to have a primary contest for the first time since 1964 because he was placed in the same district with another Democrat incumbent.[96] In Florida an incumbent Congressman hired a lobbyist to insure that he received his preferred district.[97] Congressmen in New York also hired lobbyists to help form a favorable district.[98] In effect politicians are choosing the constituencies they wish to represent. The realization that such events occur proves that politicians manipulate the redistricting process and that gerrymandering is as much a malignancy today as ever.

“If elected officials were half as imaginative at solving the problems voters care about as they are in perpetuating themselves in office, government would have a much better reputation and voters would be much less cynical.”[99]

Friction – It is only natural that the two parties have friction over redistricting, especially when gerrymandering is allowed. Friction is better than the alternative. Like children at play, tranquility should be the greatest concern. Less friction implies agreement and cooperation between political opponents, which ought to trouble all people interested in fair and competitive elections. Agreement between the parties to carve out “safe” seats is not an alternative to friction; it is a conspiracy against democracy.

Relief in the Courts – It is not the role of the courts to provide leadership for political reform when leadership is otherwise lacking. “In five states (Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, New Jersey and Washington), Congressional redistricting is done by an independent commission. In remaining 45 states, redistricting is addressed by the legislature and the governors. When both houses of the legislature and the governor’s office are not controlled by the same party, an agreement often cannot be reached, and the redistricting map is then drawn by a court. … the political affiliation of the judges involved often makes a big difference.”[100] The naïve view is that the courts are objective, apolitical and above the political fray. Yet, in 2002 it appears that courts agree with redistricting when done by members of the same political party, and conversely: they change redistricting when the process was controlled by the opposite party. In Pennsylvania a Republican-created plan was overturned by a Democratic-controlled court.[101] In Michigan a Republican-created plan was upheld by a Republican-controlled court. And in Colorado a Democratic-created plan was upheld by a Democratic-controlled court. Redistricting problems invite the courts to enter the political realm and to exercise political will. Yielding to this temptation diminishes the stature of the court and compromises the court as fair arbiter for determining the rules of the political contest. Wise courts are well advised to stay clear of politics and to insist that redistricting be achieved with the utmost fairness and objectivity.

The Problem in the States – The problem of politicians creating “safe” seats for themselves is not limited to the U.S. House. Table 7 is a state-by-state itemization of the last five election cycles. “Safe” seats typically find a token opponent. But some seats are so safe that it is futile for anyone to bother. Of the roughly 6000 state legislative races nationwide elected in 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, and 2000 one of the two major parties failed to field a candidate in 32.8%, 35.8%, 32.7%, 41.1%, and 40.6% respectively of those races. State-by-state detail data is presented in Table 7. In 1988 and 1990, 36.6% and 35.9% respectively of state legislative races were uncontested. [102]

In 1992 over half of the state legislative seats were uncontested in nine states, with Arkansas being the highest at 75.6%. In 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000 the number of states with over 50% uncontested state legislative races was twelve, six, fifteen, and eleven respectively.

In a North Carolina court case, plaintiffs submitted deposition testimony of John N. Davis, Executive Director of NCFREE, a nonpartisan organization, that has forecast North Carolina state election results since 1992. In 2000 Davis correctly predicted the outcome in 193 of 200 elections (96.5%).[103] Davis asserted that the number of competitive state senate seats had dropped from fourteen in 1992 to six in 2001 out of 50; and the number of competitive state house seats had dropped from 32 in 1992 to fourteen

in 2001 out of 120 seats. These percentages are strikingly similar to those for the U.S. House and are probably very similarly in most states. Defining a landslide win as 55:45, most Colorado state legislators win by landslides; specifically 83%, 80%, and 80% in 1994, 1996, and 1998 respectively.[104]

MODERN GERRYMANDERING

It is more comforting to believe that gerrymandering is a thing of the past, a political abuse long since corrected. But gerrymandering is alive and more severe than ever. In the early 1960’s, political scientists aware of computer capabilities forecasted an end to gerrymandering.[105] Columbia University Professor William Vickrey noted, “Whenever the drawing up of the boundaries is left even slightly to the discretion of an interested body, considerable latitude is left for the exercise of art.”[106] It was thought that technology would rescue society from partisan bickering avoiding unneeded criticism, court challenges, pressures and delays. The process would evolve to one of intellectual purity based on mathematically unique solutions.

Figure 5. 1812 gerrymander (left) and New York’s 12th Congressional District in 1992 (right)[107]

Figure 5 tells us that gerrymandering is as aggressive now as ever and that technology has made things worse, not better. The 1992 New York 12th Congressional District rivals the infamous 1812 Massachusetts gerrymander. The introduction of greater technological capabilities, coupled with the experience of 180 years has yielded the most sever gerrymandering of history. But New York is not alone. Other states display equal

Figure 7. Illinois’ 4th Congressional District in 1992[109]

excess with their 1992 districts. North Carolina is famous for creative work with the 1st and 12th Congressional Districts in 1992 (Figure 6). Not as well known, but easily as extreme was the job done with the Illinois 4th Congressional District in the same year (Figure 7). Figure 8 shows three Texas Congressional Districts (30th, 18th, and 29th) as gerrymandered in 1992 and in 1996 as less-gerrymandered subsequent to court actions.

the need for action. “New software has made it easier to draw more reliable electoral maps—i.e., to be more exact in your partisanship.”[114] New technology “has turned gerrymandering—sorry, redistricting—from an art into a science.”[115] “This time around, faster and cheaper computers have allowed more people with an interest in the outcome – such as House incumbents – to use that software for their own benefit.”[116]

REFORM SUGGESTIONS

PART I

The history of redistricting is essentially a story about correcting abuse by moving in the direction of harder-to-abuse, objective criteria. Subjective criteria, because they are judgment-dependent, will always be the victim of manipulation. Redistricting that is favorable to one group is equally injurious to others. Recognition of this reality is the basis for the current dilemma unveiled in recent court rulings against some VRA districts. Voting rights observers eagerly await successive ruling for guidance. The Court seems equally frustrated at the lack of more objectivity.

The foregoing discussion proves that the U.S. has severe election problems. Defining the problem correctly is half of the solution to the problem. The political realm seems so intransigent and so resistant to change that it might intentionally misdefining the problem in order to avoid the remedy. As James Madison said, “the truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted.” Beginning with Madison’s view leaves room for the occasional refreshing surprise of enlightened proactive political leadership.

The Broader Perspective – To focus strictly on redistricting cures, presupposes important questions. These are not mutually exclusive, meaning that any one or all can be implemented independently. None precludes the other. Any combination is viable. In addition to redistricting reforms, a hard look should be given to:

  • End the modern pork-barrel spoil-system.
  • Devolve government service.
  • Reduce the cost of government services.
  • Consider alternative representation systems.
  • Do no harm.
  • Reconsider ballot access restrictions.
  • Enlarge citizen participation systems.

Pork-barrel spoil-system – Voters are rational. The vast majority live without constant concern over personal injury, that political zealots might cause them. The freedom to focus on things relevant to their lives is positive. Political systems requiring less direct citizen-supervision would be viewed by most as an improvement.

Issues of true national concern are not particularly contentious. The two parties regularly form a unified front on national security, foreign policy, law enforcement, judicial administration, terrorism, trade, the economy, and more. Ideological differences about details stimulate debate and compromise to improve outcomes.

Petty partisan friction is more often than not over the distribution of spoils. The majority party takes credit for getting spoils to the right place. The minority party counters by pointing out the outrageous waste of taxpayer funds. These spoils are the “free money” boondoggles that would not happen except for “free money.” That these boondoggles would not happen without “free money” is proof that their value is less than their cost. Thus, all citizens are injured and are society more impoverished by “free money.” A system with less pork would enrich all. Deciding the special interest that should be winners or losers in the contest for pork is not the most important task of elected officials. Their talent and leadership should be freed to focus on important policy questions. Fewer spoils would leave less reason for partisan friction and diminish the incentive for aggressive gerrymandering.

The Founders warned that the natural course was for more power and control to gravitate to the central government. This is the reason they wrote a constitution that rigidly decentralized government functions. Irrespective of the forewarning and constitutional limitations, government has become too large and too centralized. Devolution, decentralization and privatization would free elected officials from the burden of the spoil system to do the job of setting important public policies that protect and improve the lives of the people.

Devolve government services – The implications of government redistribution policies would be lessened by devolving services to the lower levels. This will empower citizens with more customization of the services they elect to have. Congress’s conflict of interest to move in this direction raises questions about methods and systems to implement such policy, or for that matter any policy Congress does not like.

Reduce the cost of government services – When government services are privatized, individual taxpayers have more money, because of less tax, and individual consumers are empowered to use or not use the services they wish.

Alternative representation systems – The perception that single-member small geographic winner-take-all district elections are the only or best alternative should be challenged for what it is: an assumption. There is not sufficient knowledge or experience for informed evaluation. There are many ways to rethink how votes are counted, whether geography is more or less important than other factors, and whether larger districts with more representatives might result in better representation or better public policy. The alternative systems are too-many to discuss and consider in this work. Experimentation and objective evaluation of the effectiveness of every conceivable election innovation is encouraged. Such experimentation is easiest to first implement and observe at the local government level. Also, the risk of damage is lessened, isolated and more easily corrected at this level.

For more information about alternative systems, visit Elections: Results and Voting Systems at http://www.barnsdle.demon.co.uk/vote/vote.html or The Center for Voting and Democracy at www.fairvote.org. Books by Douglas J. Amy entitled Behind the Ballot Box: A Citizen’s Guide to Voting Systems and Real Choices/New Voices and The International IDEA Handbook of Electoral System Design by the international Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance are helpful tools in learning the functions of different electoral systems.

Do No Harm – Once there is common recognition of a problem, exuberance sometimes overshadows reason. The popularity of campaign finance limitations falls into this category of issues. The false assumption is that all parties will abide by the law and the influence of special interests will diminish, ultimately lead to better policy. Is it possible that CFR increases the advantage of incumbents over challengers? By what stretch of logic do people believe that Congress would pass any law that would give more advantage to their challengers than to themselves? In achieving the goal of a more level playing field so that there may be more competitive elections to gain greater citizen representation and better policy, CFR as it is currently conceived probably tips the field more in favor of incumbents and therefore is the wrong direction.

Reconsider Ballot Access Restrictions – All ballot access restrictions were put in place masked as needed reforms. Many of these do more harm than good and some may do no good whatsoever. These restrictions should be reviewed from the vantage of open, free and competitive elections. The method of modifying or lifting these is unclear, because of the hostility that state and federal legislators of both political parties have for political reform. Perhaps well-healed patriotic citizens will step forward in the exercise of the citizen initiative petition process in those states that allow it.

Enlarge citizen participation systems – Citizen involvement in government is a critical aspect of self-government that is under-appreciated and under-exercised. Citizen participation systems, such as the Initiative and Referendum process, merit considerable expansion. Systems that capture the right information at the right time and motivate good and timely legislation are pre-embryonic in development. Innovative students of democracy should exercise creativity to conceive and implement new and better systems. Systems that tap the vast wealth of knowledge and experience of the masses will evolve and will improve governance and will make the jobs of legislators less difficult.

REFORM SUGGESTIONS

PART II

Redistricting Reforms – Changes in the way districts are formed must be implemented immediately. In short, the fox must be removed from the henhouse. The political community must be disconnected from redistricting. Non-partisan or bi-partisan citizen commissions are insufficient. The Arizona model is a commission of two Democrats, two Republicans and one mutually agreed tiebreaker. This approach concedes that the process is and must continue to be politically dominated. When confronted with reform questions, the Arizona model degenerates to four partisans ganging up on one possible reformer. Worse, it concedes to subjective criteria and human judgment. As one of the five most reform-minded states, Arizona does not go far enough.

  • Install the Iowa System. “Iowa … draws the lines without referring to voter registration or even to where the state’s politicians live.”[117] The process of considering where an incumbent resides makes that a high priority redistricting criteria. It makes the process unnecessarily complicated and forces gerrymandering to accommodate incumbents. In effect this gives a heavier weight to incumbent residency than to rational formation of districts.
  • Install the Minnesota System. In many states senators are elected for 4-year terms with half of the senate elected every 2 years. In Minnesota senators elected in the census year serve a 2-year term so that the entire senate is elected from new districts after redistricting. The converse, the Colorado system, attempts to retain half of the senate in their districts while district boundaries change. This forces the redistricting process to consider where senators live and gives a heavier weight to the senator serving a full 4-year term than to the citizens choosing who should represent them.
  • “Nesting” should be considered. “Nesting” is the process of incorporating some districts completely within others. For example, a state with seven Congressional Districts and 35 state senators would first make its Congressional Districts and then make five state senate districts within each of the Congressional Districts. Among the benefits is that the messy task of redistricting is lessened.
  • Adopt and rigidly apply objective criteria. Objective criteria are those that are based upon fact and can be applied without the exercise of judgment. It took many years to fully implement the notion of equal population districts. Continuity is another objective criteria that initially did not exist, but was adopted and became accepted as a proper redistricting norm. Compactness should be added to the list of objective redistricting criteria.
  • Add Compactness as an objective redistricting criteria. Compactness, first mentioned in Federal law in 1901, has been clay in the hands of the gerrymander. Also required in many state constitutions, compactness sinks as a priority when it conflicts with the aims of the gerrymander. This conflict provides a clue. In order to gerrymander, compactness must be ignored. Installing compactness as another objective redistricting criteria would end gerrymandering.
  • Use technology to reduce gerrymandering. Eventually, possibly before the 2010 census, redistricting software will have the ability to create, evaluate, and compare a sufficiently large number of redistricting alternatives to insure that the most compact plan is found. Currently these software programs are effective at evaluating alternative plans. They should be used to apply a compactness measurement method.[118] Then the redistricting commission must be bound to select and implement the most compact plan.
  • Create positive incentives. Currently redistricting plans are devised and subsequently seek citizen input. Each political party uses redistricting software in private to find gerrymandered plans that benefit them. Then, they submit a plan to the redistricting commission. Any citizen should have an equal right to develop and introduce a plan. When the commission is obliged to implement the most compact plan, the citizenry will serve as a check against the possibility of both parties working together in private to create a mutually beneficial plan.

That things might stay the same or continue to regress is absurd. Soviet elections were less hypocritical. They made no pretense about being fair or competitive. Defenders of the status quo align themselves with Benito Mussolini, who said, “Give me the right to nominate and you can vote for whomever you please.” The many lawsuits about to transpire over 2001 redistricting will serve as a reminder that reform is needed.

CONCLUSION

Redistricting has come to mean gerrymandering. Gerrymandering is as widespread and as energetic today as it has ever been in U.S. history. The arrival of new technology has empowered the gerrymander. Under the control of politicians, redistricting is the most significant and controllable variable for predetermining the outcome of elections. Fewer elections are in doubt. To restore integrity to representative self-government in America:

  • Control of the redistricting process by the “political community” must cease.
  • Political criteria for redistricting, such as party, race, ethnicity and other demographic criteria and the incumbent’s place of residence must be replaced with objective criteria, such as equal population, continuity, and compactness.
  • Modern technology using rigidly applied objective redistricting criteria must be used to end gerrymandering.
  • The efficacy of single-member districts should be questioned. A wide array of alternative systems of voting and of representation merit experimentation and objective evaluation. These experiments may be most effective first at the local government level.
  • The rewards for gerrymandering should be diminished. Less tax money should be available for politicians to fund the current pork-barrel spoil-system.



Glossary
Apportionment – Apportionment is the process of determining the number of Congressional Districts that each state shall have.

At-Large – At-Large representatives are elected from the full population of a state. When the first Congress was elected in 1788, the U.S. Constitution specified the number of representatives from each state. All representatives from each state were elected “At-Large” in 1788.

Cumulative Voting (CV) – Cumulative Voting is a system that allows the voter to express the strength with which they favor or oppose certain candidates. It is used in a multimember district. Each voter has many votes and may allocate them however desired among the candidates, including giving all votes to one candidate, distributing them among several candidates, or not using all of them.

Democracy – Democracy is a form of government in which a substantial proportion of the citizenry directly or indirectly participates in ruling the state.

Districting – Districting is the process of dividing a state or an area into districts. After the Congressional seats are apportioned among the states, each state divides itself into districts.

Gerrymander – Gerrymandering is the process of dividing a political unit into election districts to give a political party or interest group greater advantage.

Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) – Voters mark their priority preferences for candidates. The poorest showing candidate is eliminated from the list and those votes are reallocated to other candidates based on the voter’s second preferences. The process is continued until one candidate achieves a majority.

Malapportionment – Malapportionment is the process of apportionment where populations are not made to be equal between districts.

Majority-Minority District – A district in which a majority of the voters are of a minority; generally a racial or ethnic minority. Some sources use the term Minority-Majority or Black-Majority to mean the same.

Plurality District – A plurality district is an Internal At-Large district. It is a district that is represented by more than a single elected official.

Proportional Representation (PR) – Parties are allocated legislative seats in proportion to the share of the vote the party receives.

Representation – Representation, in politics, is the process by which one person stands or acts for a larger number of individuals in formulating the policies and operations of a government.

Safe Seat – A “safe” seat or safe district is one in which the outcome of an election is effectively predetermined because the party affiliation of voters in the district is sufficiently large to insure the outcome.

Voting Rights Act (VRA) – The VRA, a byproduct of the Civil Rights movement, became law in 1965 and protected the right of African American citizens to register and vote.


[1] “Redistricting Battles Come Down to Personal Issues as Well as Political.” By David Espo, Associated Press, June 18, 2002.

[2] Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, Deluxe Edition, 2000.

[3] Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, Deluxe Edition, 2000.

[4] Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, Deluxe Edition, 2000.

[5] “Behind the Ballot Box: A Citizen’s Guide to Voting Systems,” by Douglas J. Amy, Praeger, Westport, CT, 2000, p. 28.

[6] Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186 (1962).

[7] “Oklahoma Plan May Force At-Large House Races,” by Chris Cillizza, Campaigns and Elections Magazine, May 1, 2002.

[8] “The Historical Atlas of U.S. Congressional Districts,” by Kenneth Martis, Macmillan Publishing Company, 1984, p. 5.

[9] “Oklahoma Plan May Force At-Large House Races,” by Chris Cillizza, Campaigns and Elections Magazine, May 1, 2002.

[10] “Oklahoma Plan May Force At-Large House Races,” by Chris Cillizza, Campaigns and Elections Magazine, May 1, 2002.

[11] “The Historical Atlas of U.S. Congressional Districts,” by Kenneth Martis, Macmillan Publishing Company, 1984, p. 52.

[12] U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 2.

[13] “Congressional Redistricting: Comparative and Theoretical Perspectives,” by David Butler and Bruce Cain, Macmillan Publishing Company, 1992, p. 18.

[14] “Oklahoma Plan May Force At-Large House Races,” by Chris Cillizza, Campaigns and Elections Magazine, May 1, 2002.

[15] U.S. Constitution, Article IV, Section 4.

[16] U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 2.

[17] U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 2.

[18] Assembled primarily from data available in “The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress 1789-1989,” by Kenneth C. Martis, Macmillan Publishing Company, New York, 1989.

[19] Assembled primarily from data available in “The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress 1789-1989,” by Kenneth C. Martis, Macmillan Publishing Company, New York, 1989.

[20] “Thomas Jefferson – A Life,” by Willard Sterne Randall, 1993, Henry Holt & Company, P. 510.

[21] “The Federal Union,” by Hicks, Mawry and Burke, 1964, Houghton Mifflin Company, P. 302.

[22] “Thomas Jefferson – A Life,” by Willard Sterne Randall, 1993, Henry Holt & Company, P. 537.

[23] “Thomas Jefferson – A Life,” by Willard Sterne Randall, 1993, Henry Holt & Company, P. 548.

[24] “Bushmanders and Bullwinkles,” by Mark Monmonier, University of Chicago Press, 2001, p. 1.

[25] “Bushmanders and Bullwinkles,” by Mark Monmonier, University of Chicago Press, 2001, p. 2.

[26] Table is modified from “Congressional Redistricting: Comparative and Theoretical Perspectives,” by David Butler and Bruce Cain, 1992, Macmillan Publishing Company, p. 77.

[27] “A look at Florida Redistricting,” by John Mercurio, Campaigns and Elections Magazine, Feb. 7, 2002.

[28] “Familiar Faces of 2000 Recount Line up for Seats in Congress,” by Mark Silva, Orlando Sentinel, July 15, 2002.

[29] “How to Rig an Election,” staff, The Economist, April, 27, 2002.

[30] “As Redistricting Unfolds, Parties Leverage Power to Get More of It,” by David E. Rosenbaum, Campaigns and Elections Magazine, 2002.

[31] “Choosing a Future California Assembly,” by William Saracino, California Political Review, April 2002, p. 23.

[32] “The Historical Atlas of U.S. Congressional Districts,” by Kenneth Martis, Macmillan Publishing Company, 1984, p. 7.

[33] “Full Representation,” by Bob Holmes, Goro O. Mitchell, and Robert Richie, Southern Center for Studies in Public Policy and Center for Voting and Democracy, 2001, p. 2.HoHH

[34] Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186 (1962).

[35] “Voting Rights and Redistricting in the United States” by Mark E. Rush, Greenwood Press, 1998, p. 37.

[36] “Congressional Redistricting: Comparative and Theoretical Perspectives,” by David Butler and Bruce Cain, Macmillan Publishing Company, 1992, p. 27.

[37] Colegrove v. Green, 328 U.S. 549 (1946).

[38] “Congressional Redistricting: Comparative and Theoretical Perspectives,” by David Butler and Bruce Cain, Macmillan Publishing Company, 1992, p. 28.

[39] www.iamm.com/uni-uni/caselaw.etc/magnacar.htm

[40] Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533 (1964).

[41] “Voting Rights and Redistricting in the United States” by Mark E. Rush, Greenwood Press, 1998, p. 23.

[42] Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533 (1964).

[43] Wesberry v. Sanders, 376 U.S. 1 (1964).

[44] Kirkpatrick v. Preisler, 394 U.S. 526 (1969).

[45] “Pennsylvania Redistricting Ruling Upheld,” by Steven Ertelt, Campaigns and Elections Magazine, April 12, 2002.

[46] “Before the Voting Rights Act,” U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, online at http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/voting/intro/intro_a.htm

[47] “The Effect of the Voting Rights Act,” U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, online at http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/voting/intro/intro_c.htm

[48] “Full Representation,” by Bob Holmes, Goro O. Mitchell, and Robert Richie, Southern Center for Studies in Public Policy and Center for Voting and Democracy, 2001, p. 2.HoHH

[49] “Full Representation,” by Bob Holmes, Goro O. Mitchell, and Robert Richie, Southern Center for Studies in Public Policy and Center for Voting and Democracy, 2001, p. 2.

[50] “Do Majority-Minority Districts Maximize Substantive Black Representation in Congress?” by Charles Cameron, David Epstein, and Sharyn O’Halloran, American Political Science Review, Vol. 90, No. 4, December 1996, p. 810.

[51] Shaw v. Reno, 113 U.S. 2816 (1993).

[52] “Do Majority-Minority Districts Maximize Substantive Black Representation in Congress?” by Charles Cameron, David Epstein, and Sharyn O’Halloran, American Political Science Review, Vol. 90, No. 4, December 1996, p. 794.

[53] “Do Majority-Minority Districts Maximize Substantive Black Representation in Congress by Charles Cameron, David Epstein, and Sharyn O’Halloran, American Political Science Review, Vol. 90, No. 4, December 1996, p. 809.

[54] “Black Faces, Black Interest: the Representation of African Americans in Congress,” by Carol Swain, Harvard University Press, 1993.

[55] “Do Majority-Minority Districts Maximize Substantive Black Representation in Congress?” by Charles Cameron, David Epstein, and Sharyn O’Halloran, American Political Science Review, Vol. 90, No. 4, December 1996, p. 798.

[56] Do Majority-Minority Districts Maximize Substantive Black Representation in Congress?” b by Charles Cameron, David Epstein, and Sharyn O’Halloran, American Political Science Review, Vol. 90, No. 4, December 1996, p. 798.

[57] “The Importance of Ballot Access,” by Richard Winger, 1994, Massachusetts School of Law.

[58] “The Importance of Ballot Access,” by Richard Winger, 1994, Massachusetts School of Law.

[59] “The Barriers to Third Parties,” by Editor, October 9, 1995, Rocky Mountain News.

[60] “The Importance of Ballot Access,” by Richard Winger, 1994, Massachusetts School of Law.

[61] “The Importance of Ballot Access,” by Richard Winger, 1994, Massachusetts School of Law.

[62] “Obstacles Litter Perot’s Path,” by Tony Snow, October 2. 1995, USA Today.

[63] “The Importance of Ballot Access,” by Richard Winger, 1994, Massachusetts School of Law.

[64] “Obstacles Litter Perot’s Path,” by Tony Snow, October 2. 1995, USA Today.

[65] “The Importance of Ballot Access,” by Richard Winger, 1994, Massachusetts School of Law.

[66] “The Importance of Ballot Access,” by Richard Winger, 1994, Massachusetts School of Law.

[67] “The Tyranny of the Two-party System,” by Lisa Jane Disch, Columbia University Press, 2002, p. 7.

[68] “Total Power of One in America,” by Fred Holden, Phoenix Enterprises, 1991, p. 386.

[69] “America Celebrates Tax Freedom Day,” Tax Foundation, April 2002, p. 2 & p. 10.

[70] “Gridlock in Government,” by Roger E. Meiners and Roger LeRoy Miller, Independence Institute, 1996, p. 15.

[71] “Who Testifies and Why,” by Dr. Barry Fagin, Independence Institute, Feb. 7, 2001, p. 1.

[72] “The Congressional Brainwashing Machine,” by J. Payne, Institute for Contemporary Studies, 1991, pp. 3-14.

[73] “The Longer They Stay, The More They Spend,” National Taxpayers Union, September 1, 1994.

[74] Webster’s Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged, Merriam-Webster Inc., Publishers, 1993.

[75] “The End of Representation: How Congress Stifles Electoral Competition,” By Eric O’Keefe and Aaron Steelman, Cato Policy Analysis No. 279, August 20, 1997, p. 5.

[76] “The End of Representation: How Congress Stifles electoral Competition,” by Eric O’Keefe and Aaron Steelman, CATO Institute, August 20, 1997, p. 3.

[77] “How to Rig an Election,” staff, The Economist, April 27, 2002, p. 29.

[78] “Who Rules America: The People vs. The Political Class,” by Eric O’Keefe, Citizen Government Foundation, 1999, p. 33.

[79] James Coyne, letter to the New York Times, January 12, 1990.

[80] “Redistricting Creates Fewer House Battles Than Expected,” by Chris Cillizza, Campaigns and Elections Magazine, Oct. 24, 2001.

[81] www.fairvote.org

[82] “Redistricting Creates Fewer House Battles Than Expected,” by Chris Cillizza, Campaigns and Elections Magazine, Oct. 24, 2001.

[83] “Redistricting Creates Fewer House Battles Than Expected,” by Chris Cillizza, Campaigns and Elections Magazine, Oct. 24, 2001.

[84] “House Control Up For Grabs,” by David Espo, Campaigns and Elections Magazine, Jan. 20, 2002.

[85] “Redistricting Shifts Clout, But Plays it Safe,” by Liz Marlantes, The Christian Science Monitor, June 10, 2002.

[86] “Redistricting Shifts Clout, But Plays it Safe,” by Liz Marlantes, The Christian Science Monitor, June 10, 2002.

[87] “Redistricting Shifts Clout, But Plays it Safe,” by Liz Marlantes, The Christian Science Monitor, June 10, 2002.

[88] As Redistricting Unfolds, Parties Leverage Power to Get More of It,” by David E. Rosenbaum, Campaigns and Elections Magazine, August 13, 2001.

[89] “DNC Scales Back Redistricting Commitment,” by Ethan Wallison and John Mercurio, Campaigns and Elections Magazine, Jan. 24, 2002.

[90] “DNC Scales Back Redistricting Commitment,” by Ethan Wallison and John Mercurio, Campaigns and Elections Magazine, Jan. 24, 2002.

[91] “Redistricting Battles Come Down to Personal Issues as Well as Political.” By David Espo, Associated Press, June 18, 2002.

[92] “Redistricting Battles Come Down to Personal Issues as Well as Political.” By David Espo, Associated Press, June 18, 2002.

[93] “Redistricting Battles Come Down to Personal Issues as Well as Political.” By David Espo, Associated Press, June 18, 2002.

[94] “Time to Draw the Line,” by Editorial Staff, New York Times, May 11, 2002.

[95] “Members of Congress Fight Redistricting Battles,” by Chris Cillizza, Campaigns and Elections Magazine, Dec. 12, 2001.

[96] “Longest Serving Congressman Could Face Inter-party Challenge,” by Steven Ertelt, Campaigns and Elections Magazine, Jan. 2, 2002.

[97] “Florida Pols Hire Lobbyists to Help Protect Districts,” by Peter Wallstein, Miami-Herald, Nov. 28, 2001.

[98] “Redistricting Battles Come Down to Personal Issues as Well as Political.” By David Espo, Associated Press, June 18, 2002.

[99] “Pushing the Limits: California Legislators Try to Extend Their Terms — Again,” by John Fund, Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2002.

[100] As Redistricting Unfolds, Parties Leverage Power to Get More of It,” by David E. Rosenbaum, Campaigns and Elections Magazine, August 13, 2001.

[101] “Redistricting Challenges Heating Up,” by Robert Tanner, Associated Press National, May 6, 2002.

[102] “Ballot Access News,” by Richard Winger, Bx 470296, San Francisco CA 94147, 415-922-9779.

[103] Stephenson v. Bartlett, No. 94PA02, North Carolina Supreme Court, April 30, 2002, http://www.aoc.state.ne.us/www/public/sc/opinions/2002/094-02-1.htm

[104] “When Elections Are Not Elections,” by Dennis Polhill and David Ottke, Independence Institute, January 5, 2000.

[105] “Bushmanders and Bullwinkles,” by Mark Monmonier, The University of Chicago Press, 2001, p. 104.

[106] “Bushmanders and Bullwinkles,” by Mark Monmonier, The University of Chicago Press, 2001, p. 104.

[107] “Bushmanders and Bullwinkles,” by Mark Monmonier, The University of Chicago Press, 2001, p. 3.

[108] “Race, Redistricting, and Representation,” by David T. Canon, The University of Chicago Press, 1999, p.111.

[109] “How to Draw Redistricting Plans That Will Stand Up in Court,” by Peter S. Wattson, Minnesota Senate Counsel, October 3, 2001, p. 24.

[110] “How to Draw Redistricting Plans That Will Stand Up in Court,” by Peter S. Wattson, Minnesota Senate Counsel, October 3, 2001, p. 17.

[111] “How to Rig an Election,” staff, The Economist, April 27, 2002, p. 29.

[112] “How to Draw Redistricting Plans That Will Stand Up in Court,” by Peter S. Wattson, Minnesota Senate Counsel, October 3, 2001, p. 18.

[113] “How to Draw Redistricting Plans That Will Stand Up in Court,” by Peter S. Wattson, Minnesota Senate Counsel, October 3, 2001, p. 18.

[114] “How to Rig an Election,” staff, The Economist, April 27, 2002, p. 29.

[115] “How to Rig an Election,” staff, The Economist, April 27, 2002, p. 29.

[116] “House Incumbents Tap Census, software to Get a Lock on Seats.” By John Harwood, Wall Street Journal, June 19, 2002.

[117] “Time to Draw the Line,” by Editorial Staff, New York Times, May 11, 2002.

[118] Mathematicians have invented no less than two-dozen methods of measuring compactness. For more information about the various methods see: “Bushmanders and Bullwinkles,” by Mark Monmonier, The University of Chicago Press, 2001, p. 65.