Open thread for night owls. Daley: Polarized Americans agree on one thing—gerrymandering is wrong

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David Daley at the Los Angeles Times writes—As polarized as Americans are, they agree on this: Gerrymandering is wrong:

America’s deeply divided electorate agreed on at least one thing on election day: Voters hate gerrymandering. In red states, blue states and purple states, they’ve had it with politicians drawing their own districts, choosing their own voters and distorting democracy.

Colorado, Michigan and Missouri all approved ballot questions — by wide margins — that would remove the power to draw federal and state legislative districts from politicians and hand the responsibility to citizen commissions or nonpartisan entities. Redistricting reform also leads in Utah, with almost 80% of the vote counted.

These states join Ohio, where voters passed similar reforms in May. California created a nonpartisan citizen commission to draw congressional districts in 2010, and in six other states (North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, Wisconsin and Maryland), legal battles and court orders have overturned — and in some cases redrawn — unfair maps, putting gerrymandering front and center in those states’ political debates.

But in the majority of states, including those where courts have intervened, drawing voting lines still falls back into the hands of politicians. The next redistricting is fast approaching — it will be based on the 2020 census. What can be done, and done quickly to make this process more fair?

There’s no easy fix.[…]



“Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed … We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in.” 
                 ~~Wallace Stegner, The Sound of Mountain Water (1969)



On this date at Daily Kos in 2012If Husted’s Electoral College plan for Ohio in ’16 was now in place everywhere, Mitt would have won:

Ian Millhiser and Josh Israel report that Jon Husted, the secretary of state of Ohio who spent so much time trying to suppress Democratic voter turnout this year, has an Electoral College plan for 2016 that he no doubt thinks could turn the tables in favor of Republicans. In fact, if his proposal to divide Ohio’s electoral votes by congressional district had been in place this year in Ohio and five other states where Obama won the popular vote, we would now be talking about President-elect Mitt Romney.

If the system he wants had been in place nationwide in the past, we would never have had a President Carter or a President Kennedy, and we would have had a President Hancock and a few others not now on the roster.

Near every presidential election, there is a flurry of talk about doing something about the Electoral College, from tweaky reform to outright abolition. A few weeks after Election Day, the talk usually goes away.

In Husted’s case, that seems unlikely. His proposal, as noted by Plunderbund, would follow the general lines of the Maine/Nebraska system. The winner of each congressional district using that method is awarded the district’s electoral vote. Whoever wins the statewide vote gets the remaining two electoral votes. With modifications, this method has been used in Maine since 1972 and in Nebraska since 1996. Only once has one of these two states split its electoral vote; Nebraska gave one to Barack Obama in 2008.

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Armando defends FL, but the Gop is set to Brooks Brothers the actual vote count, even before any recount. Trump, somehow surprised by Whitaker backlash, is “coffee boy-ing” him and “no puppeting” the story. Zinke is set to go out with a bang!

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