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The Pitfalls of Political Gerrymandering

About

Amateur writer, pianist, denizen of Houston and part-time GLBT activist

What happens when Democratic states are manipulated into changing their Electoral College vote? Do changes like these really have a strong impact on the country as a whole?

The short answer: Yes.

When the Democratic Party is flushed out of the system in such a way, every single person isn’t truly heard during elections. When a state makes the decision to switch from Democratic to Republican based upon viable reasoning and not gerrymandering, it’s a different situation. Viable reasoning leads to positive results during elections, or at least that’s the ultimate goal.

What is gerrymandering?

For those already versed in political rhetoric, gerrymandering is a vile concept. According to Dictionary.com, gerrymander is defined as “the dividing of a state, county, etc., into election districts so as to give one political party a majority in many districts while concentrating the voting strength of the other party into as few districts as possible.” (gerrymander. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved January 25, 2013, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/gerrymander)

It’s a matter of rights:

Despite Republicans seemingly ruling the polls in the 2016 elections, they should not quiet the voters who won’t follow their agenda. In a sense, the Democratic Party is being stripped of their rights when states are manipulated into following suit in such a way. According to CrooksandLiars.com, “This is a Red Alert moment for anyone who actually thinks we should have free, fair elections where everyone’s vote counts.”

What does this mean for the LGBT community?

The shift from Democratic to Republican is disastrous for the LGBT community because their primary support comes from the Democratic Party. Because of support from the Democratic Party, especially in recent elections with the passage of gay marriage in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington (http://dailycaller.com/2012/11/07/voters-approve-gay-marriage-in-four-states/), the LGBT community has been able to exercise their rights in a monumental and historic manner.

What is the solution?

According to The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, “The presidential electors who meet after the citizens vote for president and cast ballots for the president and vice president. Each state is granted the same number of electors as it has senators and representatives combined. These electors, rather than the public, actually elect the president and the vice president.” (electoral college. (n.d.). The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. Retrieved January 25, 2013, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/electoral college). Many believe that the only real solution to this problem is to abolish the Electoral College all-together.  There have been many failed attempts at abolishing the Electoral College in the past, the most recent being in 2000, but that doesn’t mean the fight to make things right must end. Some states, like California for example, are pushing for the Electoral College to become a formality rather than the standard during elections. (http://justenrichment.com/2011/08/09/california-joins-crusade-against-the-electoral-college/)

Another solution is more states joining the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC). The NPVIC is an agreement, “to replace their current rules regarding the apportionment of presidential electors with rules guaranteeing the election of the presidential candidate with the most popular votes in all fifty states and Washington, D.C.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Popular_Vote_Interstate_Compact) In a sense, this agreement does the job of abolishing the Electoral College for us if enough states join in.

2016 James Legare Copyright Protected jim@jameslegare.com