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The student news site of Carlisle High School

Periscope

The student news site of Carlisle High School

Periscope

Staff Profile
Jillian Grimes
Jillian Grimes
News Editor

Repairing Democracy: How Independent Redistricting Commissions Help rid the United States of Corruption (Editorial)

Some+infamous+examples+of+gerrymandering+from+both+mainstream+political+parties.
Some infamous examples of gerrymandering from both mainstream political parties.

Gerrymandering is a corrupt political process that has occurred for over 200 years of United States history, which means it’s about time to start combating it. 

Gerrymandering is the process of drawing electoral district maps in favor of a political party, leading to State Legislatures and Governors attempting to pass district maps that are extremely partisan and benefit their own political party. These U.S House districts and State House/Senate Districts help represent constituents at a more personal level which is important for making their voices heard.

The process of Gerrymandering, in the simplest terms, lets the politicians choose their constituents and not the other way around like it should be. These legislatures create maps that “Crack” voting blocks apart and “Pack” voting blocks together to make biased districts, essentially killing proportional representation within each state’s Federal House elections and their own state’s House/Senate elections.

There have been many extreme instances of gerrymandering during redistricting the last few years, some of the more infamous ones coming from the states of Florida, Ohio, New York, and Illinois.

The State’s Supreme Courts play a huge role by being a check on the State’s Legislature and Governor. State Supreme Courts determine if a map is fair if there are complaints about a certain redistricting map. This has occurred in the states of New York and Florida. New York’s Supreme court called out gerrymandering and requested a different map be created, which was a win for democracy. Unfortunately, Florida’s Supreme court ruled that an extremely gerrymandered redistricting map proposed by Ron DeSantis was constitutional, which heavily favored Republicans and underrepresented Democrats. 

The best way to help combat gerrymandering is using Independent Redistricting Commissions. These commissions are in replacement of State Legislatures making the district maps, which results in these new district maps being less biased compared to the ones made by the politicians. 

Independent Commissions have already been adopted in many states including California, Colorado, Arizona, Virginia, and many more. In most of the states, representatives are elected almost proportionally to vote share for each mainstream political party when using Independent Commissions and still includes many competitive House seats. 

Independent Redistricting Commissions can lead to fairer representation in U.S Politics at the federal level, which means that people’s voices can be heard and represented versus being silenced by partisan state governments that try to silence the minority party. 

Independent Redistricting Commissions can help hand more power back to the people and make state legislatures less corrupt by taking away their power to draw district maps in their favor. 

Disclaimer: Articles designated as “Editorial” represent the views and opinions of the author, not the 2023-2024 Periscope staff, CHS/CASD administration, or the CHS student body.

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Noah Guillaume
Noah Guillaume, Staff Writer
Noah Guillaume is a senior who is new to Periscope and is excited to write many articles this year. Noah likes to research politics,  drink coffee, listen to music, and run cross country. He also loves creating chaos within his friend group and wasting money on energy drinks. He is glad to be part of the Periscope team.
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