Cut it out: stop partisan gerrymandering

CAITLYN SAMPLEY / AGGIE

Federal court rules against North Carolina congressional map

In a political landmark, a panel of federal judges ruled North Carolina’s 2016 congressional map void due to its heavy GOP partisanship. This took place on Jan. 9, just in time to cause chaos before a pivotal midterm election, which North Carolina Republicans are desperate to secure.  

The heavy Republican favoritism on the map is due to the political tactic of redrawing congressional districts to favor a particular political party.

This process of redistricting, called gerrymandering, has been adopted by both Republicans and Democrats alike. In North Carolina, the GOP has taken it too far once more and is now facing consequences.

The federal judges did not only rule this map void, but also deemed it as unconstitutional due to how skewed it was to one party’s political advantage. This is the first time a federal court has voided a congressional map using this reasoning, and North Carolina legislators are now left with only about two weeks to redraw all 13 congressional districts to be less partisan. Currently, Republicans hold 10 of these districts with Democrats in the remaining three.

With improved map-drawing software and detailed data collection, lawmakers have become increasingly more savvy when redrawing their districts. Republicans have taken advantage of this sneaky tactic and contorted districts so much that gerrymandering has become destructive to the very foundation of our country’s democracy.

But how does gerrymandering affect us? In the way American democracy was intended to operate, voters would elect their representatives and elected officials would represent the ideals of voters. When representatives create their own districts instead, they are choosing which party gets represented and consequently can overrepresent a group within the state. Thus, voters in the opposing party are marginalized.

The Editorial Board is heartened by this action taken against unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering. We are proud that this issue is becoming unacceptable after so many years of shrewd lawmakers slipping by unscathed. Looking toward the future, we look forward to a more democratic process as our founders intended.  

 

Written by: The Editorial Board