July 20, 2015

The Washington Post: The Gerrymandering Jig Should Be up


By Editorial Board

The Washington Post


The 3rd congressional districts in Maryland and Virginia are roughly 200 miles apart — depending on which part of their ungainly boundaries one takes as a starting point — and, on the surface, seem to have little in common. Virginia’s 3rd stretches from Norfolk to Richmond. Maryland’s 3rd, with contours often likened to a blood spatter, incorporates parts of Baltimore City, as well as parts of Anne Arundel (including Annapolis), Baltimore, Howard and Montgomery counties.

What they share is a genesis in bald-faced gerrymandering contrived by politicians intent on manipulating electoral maps to their advantage by hand-picking their own voters. Democrats are the culprits in Maryland’s case; Republicans did the deed in Virginia.

Encouragingly, there are signs that the jig may be up, or that at least it is facing more pressure than ever before.

Prodded by the judiciary, Virginia’s Democratic governor, Terry McAuliffe, and Maryland’s Republican governor, Larry Hogan, are moving toward some version of redistricting reform. In both cases, that would be a blow to the good-old boys in the state capitals and Congress, and a favor to voters, whose say in elections has been subjugated to partisan interests.


Read more here.

July 20, 2015

States in the Spotlight