Gerrymandering, or partisan redistricting, is the “art” of packing an opposing party’s likely voters into separate districts and fragmenting remaining concentrations of opposing voters into separate districts where they cannot achieve the majorities needed to elect state and federal representatives who reflect their interests. Gerrymandering can be stopped or greatly restrained by strictly imposing neutral and historic design criteria of compactness and by minimizing splits in political subdivisions (counties, cities, townships, etc.) during the process of equalizing population between electoral districts. This Essay proposes a method of neutral redistricting to end partisan gerrymandering in Pennsylvania and other states. The key to this method is to deprive map drafters of discretion to pick and choose territory needed to “crack or pack” an opposing party’s likely voters and replace that discretion with historic and known municipal boundaries.
An End to Gerrymandering: How Rigorous and Neutral Design Criteria Can Restrain or End Partisan Redistricting
Volume 93, No. 3, Spring 2021