When Politicians Pick Their Voters

In New York Times Editorial, Voting On
- Updated

With a partisan gerrymandering case likely to hit the court’s docket next term, the justices should finally set clear limits on the practice. The need for those limits is growing only more urgent as voter data and computer-mapping technologies become more sophisticated, and politicians become more brazen in their efforts to protect their power.

Both major parties have long histories of redistricting in their own interest, but since 2010, the benefits have flowed overwhelmingly to Republicans, who swept into Congress and statehouses around the country just as the decennial census set off a new round of redistricting.

How big is that benefit? While the exact impact of gerrymandering is difficult to measure, a new study by the Brennan Center for Justice found that Republicans hold at least 16 to 17 congressional seats because of partisan bias in district boundaries — two-thirds of the 24 seats Democrats would need to retake control of the House. Even more remarkably, just seven states account for nearly all that bias, and all but one of them are swing states.

Read full editorial

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