Should voters choose the politicians who represent them, as the Constitution requires, or should the politicians use gerrymandering to get the voters they want, as is happening in many states?
“Gerrymandering” is manipulating the geographic boundaries of electoral districts in a way that favors one party over the other. This practice is universally condemned as unjust, harmful to our democracy and it violates the spirit of the Constitution. Inexplicably, gerrymandering is not illegal. The Supreme Court has, once again, failed because the conservative (Republican appointed) majority refused to set standards and make it illegal to rig elections this way — even though the chief justice acknowledged gerrymandering was unjust (“Forget Russian hackers, the Supreme Court's gerrymandering decision just crippled American democracy,” June 27).
Both Democratic and Republican politicians now have access to voter data, sophisticated mapping programs and precise tools to rig elections in their favor by drawing strangely shaped districts. This means that in a state or district that’s divided 60/40 between the two parties, when the minority party is in control (holding the legislature and or the governor’s mansion) that party can give itself a long term electoral advantage over the 60 percent majority party, thereby, nullifying “one man one vote.” In Maryland, the Democrats are guilty of flagrant gerrymandering. In North Carolina, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Texas, Virginia and other states, Republicans are the accused.
Due to the Supreme Court’s failure, only a Congress and White House controlled by Democrats can create a non-political, non-partisan commission that establishes standards, oversight and criminal accountability to close this gaping wound in our system.
Roger C. Kostmayer, Baltimore