Posts Tagged ‘NY State Senate’

Slay the gerrymander!

November 2, 2010

I just got back from voting at my neighborhood polling place.

I voted in New York’s 28th congressional district, the so-called “earmuffs” or “headphones” district, which looks like this: –

I voted in New York’s 55th state senate district, which looks like this: –

I voted in New York’s 131st state assembly district, which looks like this: –

And I am sure these far from being the most absurdly and arbitrarily drawn congressional and legislative district.

The only requirements for drawing district boundaries are that (1) the districts be roughly equal in population and (2) the boundaries not be drawn to intentionally reduce representation of minority groups.  Isn’t it time to add (3) the districts be compact in shape, (4) the districts as much as possible, subject to requirements 1-3, respect historic governmental and community boundaries and (5) the district be drawn by a non-partisan commission, subject to an up-or-down vote by the state legislature?  It might even be possible find a computer algorithm for doing this.

I voted for Kenneth Krause, the Republican candidate for Assembly, because he has signed a pledge to support non-partisan redistricting of the Assembly.  Of course the Assembly is gerrymandered to favor Democrats, as the state Senate is gerrymandered to favor Republicans, so he has less to lose than if he were a Republican.