Wednesday, September 2, 2020

CNBC explains how gerrymandering works and what can be done about it

While redistricting and gerrymandering have been major subjects on this blog ever since its first week, I haven't written about it this year. The 2020 election, COVID-19 pandemic, and Retail Apocalypse have kept me so busy, I can barely squeeze in the Emmy Awards. That means I need to make the time. Yesterday, CNBC made it easy for me, when it uploaded How Does Gerrymandering Work?

Both Democrats and Republicans are raising millions of dollars this election cycle to flip state legislatures and have an advantage in redistricting come 2021. Redistricting is the process mandated by the constitution to ensure fair representation as the population changes. When abused, this is called gerrymandering. These gerrymandered maps can discriminate on the basis of party, race or other pieces of identity politics. Watch the video to find out how gerrymandering works and why one expert called it "the biggest and boldest investment in modern American politics."
It's been a while since I posted a good explanation of how gerrymandering works, so embedding this video helps my new readers understand and my old readers remember. In addition, it updates the situation and includes remedies, like the independent commission approved by Michigan voters in 2018, ranked-choice voting, and multi-member districts. I'm in favor of all of these reforms, but independent redistricting commisions would probably be the least disruptive of elections themselves, while multi-member districts can discriminate against racial and ethnic minorities, thus potentially creating as many problems as they solve.

CNBC has more videos on topics of interest to myself and my readers. I'll see how many of them I can use. Stay tuned.

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