Gerrymandering Easy to Condemn, Difficult to Resolve

The state’s Seventh Congressional District, which encompasses parts of five counties, including Chester County, is often cited as a textbook case of gerrymandering.

While it can be easy for the opponents of gerrymandering to point to current congressional maps, finding a way to fix them is not so simple, writes David Wasserman for FiveThirtyEight.

There’s no denying that the partisan process has drawn some absurd maps in the past, including Pennsylvania’s infamous Seventh Congressional District, otherwise known as Goofy Kicking Donald Duck.

While it’s easy to say what districts should not look like, it’s much harder to say how they should. Even those advocating for reform disagree on which priorities should be used to govern political cartography.

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Among the possible options is drawing more compact districts, making them more conducive to competitive elections or more inclusive of underrepresented racial groups. The process could also create a mix of party representatives more closely aligned with the political makeup of a state, or even just draw them randomly.

But all of these suggestions would cause tension.

This shows that while gerrymandering is easy to condemn, it’s very complex to resolve. A map that would satisfy everyone is virtually impossible to create.

Read more about gerrymandering at FiveThirtyEight here.

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