Letters to the Editor

Gerrymandering: You think it's gone? Hogwash

Re: “No gerrymandering here,” (Off the wire editorial, 6/23).

In partisan gerrymandering, one party seeks to gain advantage over the other. This practice was eliminated in Washington in 1983 by the establishment of a bipartisan commission.

Unfortunately, gerrymandering is very much alive and well in its bipartisan form. Representatives of both parties now cooperate in the redistricting process, each seeking to form “safe” districts for its incumbents by moving opposing precincts into adjoining districts.

In 2010, four out of nine U.S. congressional races had a margin of victory of less than 10 percent. After redistricting, in 2012, the smallest margin of victory was over 17 percent.

Even after the demographic changes of half a decade, the smallest margin of victory in 2016 was still in double digits.

Gerrymandering still makes it very difficult for angry voters to turn out an incumbent. It also promotes the election of more extreme candidates and therefore contributes to our political gridlock.