It was interesting to reread these articles and see things I had not seen upon first reading them. Though I already had an awareness and basic understanding of gerrymandering, these articles gave me insight to the causes and types of redistricting that go on in our country. One new thing I learned is that technology has led, in part, to gerrymandering, as more information on voter demographics has become available. Another political aspect of gerrymandering that was brought to my attention was the libertarians’ role in the fight against gerrymandering.
When I think of the connection between technology and politics, I usually am focused on the positives. Since it is easier to poll people and broadcast information, it feels as though this state of evolved access to information would be beneficial to Americans. Though benefits do exist, one very negative outcome has come from this new access to information. Gerrymandering can only be accomplished if a person is aware of the traits of people living in certain areas. With this type of information, a party can participate in either packing or cramming. When packing occurs, all of one group of people are put into the same district or districts. On the other hand, cramming is when a group is spread out across many districts in order to minimize their effect in any one district. Both of these methods reduce the voting power of members of a certain group. Essentially, the party in power can ensure that those voters that oppose them will have votes that have less impact than those voters that support them.
Although this issue is prominent and has recently gained a lot of attention, there remains the question of how to fix it. This is where the beliefs of libertarians may come in handy. Standard libertarian beliefs align with ideas of political freedom and liberty. Due to their political position, many believe that libertarians should be particularly capable of spotting gerrymandering in their respective areas. However, most parties would be able to notice when gerrymandering is becoming a problem.
Here are the articles I annotated:
Gerrymandering by Skye is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.