Redistricting is the process of drawing new political boundaries every 10 years to comply with changes in the census. Gerrymandering is the process of drawing these boundaries for political gain.
Political districts are supposed to be compact and contiguous, but politicians draw districts in the shape of snakes, ducks, pterodactyls, dragons, and earmuffs, and play games called packing, cracking, kidnapping, hijacking, and customizing to guarantee victory for the party in control or the incumbent.
By drawing these districts, politicians isolate people by race, create landslide elections, protect incumbents from challengers, polarize our country, eliminate moderates, destroy bipartisanship, and invalidate the concept of one-person-one-vote.
We do not let students pick their own grades. We do not let inmates run their own prisons. But we let politicians play gerrymandering games that threaten our democracy.
2021 is a year for redistricting. We have to act now, before we realize, in the words of John Mecklin, “that the fix was in, the election is over, and redistricting is come and gone, not to show its greasy, leering face for a decade.”
Please join Reform Elections Now on Wednesday, April 7 at 5:30 for a lively discussion.
The views expressed are those of Reform Elections Now, an organization founded by HBS alumni that is seeking to improve the functioning of the U.S. democracy. The Harvard Business School Club of NY is a non-political, non-partisan organization and does not support or endorse any political candidates.
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