Target partisan gerrymandering
Regarding the May 25 editorial “A welcome ruling on district lines”:
In the case of the gerrymandered districts in North Carolina, the Supreme Court and lower court supported the foolish contention that partisan politicians care about race when drawing lines for voting districts. That is not true. Partisan politicians care about one thing: winning. It is easy to illustrate that race is no longer a factor in drawing district boundaries. Consider a consultant with no knowledge of the racial makeup of North Carolina viewing a map of its voting history over the past few election cycles. For better or worse, the African American areas will show a history of supporting Democratic candidates overwhelmingly. Just as the Republicans did in the case at hand, the colorblind consultant would look to either dilute or magnify that voting bloc depending on which party employed him. Race would simply not be a factor, and it was not in this case. Such gerrymandering may not be fair, but the Supreme Court has previously ruled that it is legal.
Until we get past this obsession with race, we cannot move on to reforming the redistricting process to lessen gerrymandering by partisan politicians. Such reform should include requiring the most compact districts possible, using boundaries following city, county or Zip code lines; interstate highways; or natural features such as rivers, streams and mountains. Will someone please introduce such legislation?
David Palmer, Rockville
Approximately 53 percent of
North Carolinians voting for a U.S. House of Representatives candidate in 2016 chose Republicans, and about 47 percent chose Democrats. Ten Republicans and three Democrats were sent to Washington, giving the GOP about 77 percent and Democrats approximately 23 percent of the representation. What a joy it was to read in the May 25 editorial “A welcome ruling on district lines” that the Supreme Court had overwhelmingly ruled against a portion of this gerrymandering that has so skewed the political desires of the Tar Heel electorate.
Fred P. Crouch, Washington