Redistricting refers to the re-drawing of legislative districts, at all levels of government, to reflect the updated census every 10 years. In the significant majority of cases, the task of drawing the maps for the new districts is done by sitting legislators and is dominated by the party then possessing majority control of the legislature (either Democrats or Republicans).
Currently, the legislature and the governor’s office are both controlled by the same political party in over 30 states. To that end, every effort is made by the majority party to draw new districts that will allow them capture enough legislative seats to perpetuate their control over government for the following decade. As a result, in any given election cycle, there are very few competitive seats. At the Federal level, 10% or less of the 435 Congressional seats have been competitive of late.
If you live in a state where the political party you support has sufficient control to dominate the redistricting process, you are happy. If you support the minority party or you are an independent, it feels as though the democratic process has been hijacked.
The redistricting process needs to be made independent, transparent and balanced.
The easiest fix for scenarios where redistricting is dominated by one political party is to delegate the function to an independent, neutral decision-making body. This has already been successfully accomplished in a few states, but it generally requires a ballot initiative or constitutional amendment to circumvent the political party with unfettered control.
|Question: Have you played The Redistricting Game yet?|
Most campaign finance laws are significantly skewed to benefit the incumbents. In almost every race, at every level of government, the incumbent significantly out-raises the opponent in much needed financial resources.
Decennial reapportionment and redistricting has reached the point where there are very few competitive seats at the legislative level.
Ballot access laws are designed to avoid competition by keeping potential opponents off the ballot.
In many states, restrictive voting rights legislation holds down voter registration and turn-out.
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