Saturday, November 13, 2021

How to Rig an Election

The Guardian newspaper has released a story map which visualizes & explains how the Republican Party is attempting to rig elections across the United States. Ten years ago the Republican Party launched its Project REDMAP initiative in an attempt to undermine American democracy. This plan involves taking control of state legislatures and then gerrymandering electoral districts in order to weaken the influence of the Democratic vote.

In These maps show how Republicans are blatantly rigging elections The Guardian maps out Republican Party attempts to gerrymander elections in North Carolina and Texas. The Guardian's maps carefully explain how the Republican Party are redrawing electoral district maps in order to weaken the influence of Democratic votes and the votes of Black and Latino Americans. 

Two ways in which Republicans are attempting to gerrymander electoral districts is by 'cracking' and 'packing'. Cracking involves diluting the voting power of Democratic votes by dividing them across a number of different districts. The goal here is to remove Democratic votes from districts where they might have an influence on the result and placing them in districts where they won't shift the result. For example in Texas some districts (such as TX-6) have been redrawn so that Latino voters from diverse Democratic voting urban districts have been moved into large rural districts with an overwhelming number of Republican voters.

Packing involves redrawing electoral district boundaries so that all potential Democrat voters are packed into one district. For example in Texas the new boundary of TX-32 pulls in large numbers of Democrat voters into one district.The result removes Democrat votes from neighboring districts and ensures that those districts are more likely to be won by Republican candidates. 

 

In Explaining the Most Bizarrely Shaped Districts in Texas’s Proposed Congressional Map the Texas Monthly shows how TX-33 is another electoral district where the Republican Party are attempting to "pack non-Anglo voters into one district". The bizarre shape of TX-33 is a glaringly blatant attempt to pack possible Democrat voters all into a single district - in the process making marginal neighboring Republican districts much less marginal.It is an attempt at vote packing which can be seen all over Texas' proposed new political map.

In How Texas Plans to Make its House Districts Even Redder the New York Times has also published an interactive map which shows the boundaries of all the proposed congressional districts in Texas and visualizes the 2020 Presidential vote margin in each precinct. By overlaying the vote margin on top of the proposed new electoral districts the NYT clearly shows where the Republican Party is trying to pack Democrat voters into as few districts as it possibly can. 

Fighting these gerrymandering attempts in the courts can take years. Which means that the Republican Party may well retake the House next year simply by cheating democracy.

2 comments:

Birdog357 said...

If you want to see Gerrymandering on an epic scale, look at Chicago. That city and state has been under total Democrat control for decades.

Beatriz Adams Garcia said...

"Epic scale" is hardly one city. Neither is justifying something wrong by pointing fingers gers at others. Republicans have found out that insurrection is illegal, but gerrymandering is legal. However nevertheless gerrymandering defeats democracy and needs to be eliminated on the epic scale that it is being used by everyone.