Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Establish nonpartisan redistricting commissions for all 50 states
Despite receiving 1.4 million more votes for the House of Representatives in 2012, Republicans won control of the House by a 234 to 201 margin. This is the result of gerrymandering – a usually bipartisan offense that turned especially one-sided in this past election. Gerrymandering is nothing less than disenfranchisement, and it cannot be allowed to continue. We must establish bipartisan redistricting commissions that would set up districts in a fair and honest way.
There are seven states in which Republicans redrew the districts recently, and in those states there were 16.7 million votes cast for Republicans and 16.4 million for Democrats. This split led to 73 Republicans and 34 Democrats being elected. Using an average of the rest of the country, only 14.7 million would normally be needed to elect this number of Democratic representatives. In other words, 1.7 million votes were wasted.
In North Carolina, the worst offender, the House vote was 51% Democratic and 49% Republican. If thousands of simulations are done to form random and unbiased districts, the average simulation turned out seven Democrats and six Republicans. The actual outcome was instead four Democrats and nine Republicans, which occurred in less than 1% of simulations!
In California, 62% of the vote went to Democrats, and the average simulation matched the outcome of 38 Democrats and 15 Republicans exactly. A possible reason? Redistricting in California is done by the nonpartisan California Citizens Redistricting Commission, put in place by the voters in that state.
We must establish nonpartisan redistricting commissions in all 50 states – and by signing this petition you are urging just that. Do not let the fate of our elections be determined by crooked gerrymandering schemes. This is not about limiting either party; it is about our duty as citizens to make sure every American’s vote counts.
Dear President Barack Obama,
Partisan redistricting has led to over a million votes going to waste in House of Representatives races all over the country. House Democrats received 1.4 million more votes than Republicans nationwide, and yet the Republicans retain the majority by a wide margin: 234 to 201. To solve this problem we must take this issue out of the hands of lawmakers and set up nonpartisan redistricting commissions in all 50 states. It is the only way to make sure we put an end to this unfair practice.
In the seven states where Republicans recently redrew district lines, there were 16.7 million votes cast for Republicans and 16.4 million for Democrats. This split led to 73 Republicans and 34 Democrats being elected. Using an average of the rest of the country, only 14.7 million would normally be needed to elect this number of Democratic representatives. In other words, 1.7 million votes were wasted. In California, where they have a nonpartisan redistricting commission, the spread of House seats exactly met the split of the electorate.
This is not about either party. It is instead about making sure that every citizens voice is heard in the form of their vote. Elections should be representative of the will of the electorate, and nonpartisan redistricting commissions are an intelligent solution to this problem.
[Your Name Here]
photo credit: J Stephen Conn via Flickr