The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Gerrymandering is voter discrimination

 

February 10, 2022



To The Eagle:

While the National Democratic Redistricting Committee called for a “Fair Districts Pledge” to “commit to restoring fairness to our democracy,” these politicians have instead adopted Oscar Wilde's trope that “the only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.”

Both parties have engaged in gerrymandering this year. We are left, yet again, with a gang of arsonists espousing fire safety in our political system. Despite voters calling for an end to gerrymandering, their leaders continue to lie to them and frustrate efforts to end this insidious practice.

Gerrymandering is to politics what doping is to sports. It is universally viewed as a cheat, an effort to manipulate districts to guarantee electoral victories. Drafting coherent districts evenly and logically to divide populations is not particularly difficult.

School districts usually are designed to evenly distribute populations with schools as center points. Those school districts often serve as voting locations. Once you depart from such logical divisions, however, political pressures produce a grotesque progeny of malformed districts.

Distorting voting districts cripples our republic’s functional machinery. The federal government, seat of our national democracy, would not be overreaching by designing equitable national standards for electoral redistricting and mandate their adoption by the states.

It ultimately required federal legislation to reestablish the civil rights of minorities suffering egregious discrimination, because many state governments considered imposing Jim Crow to be a “state’s right.” Partisan gerrymandering is voter discrimination. It’s time our federal government leveled the electoral playing field by voting the proposed Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act into law.

JB Bouchard

Puget Island

 

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