When a fellow CNN correspondent asked their own Dana Bash what were the underlying causes of the nation’s partisan gridlock, Bash replied, “Three things: Redistricting. Redistricting. And, redistricting.”
Congress, let’s get it right. First off, Congressional Districts are under the purvey of federal, not state, law because the constitution says:
The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.
The …’but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations,’… means that the federal government, not the states, has control over federal elections. The U.S. House of Representatives is a part of the Federal Government. By extension, the role of establishing U.S. Congressional Districts falls to Congress.
For the good reason of keeping states from turning some of their citizens into second-class citizens as far too many of them trying to do at this very time. Each and every US citizen has the same rights, the same entitle. Period. None of the states should be allowed to deny a US citizen their franchise.
To begin: Every state is divided into county-like administrative districts. These districts are very stable. None of the 3,243 were originally, nor are now, duck or pterodactyl shaped. Almost all are seats of local governance with a Sheriff, Courthouse, District Attorney, Superintendent of Schools, … all of whom are elected to office by the county’s residents. Been that way since forever. A sound foundation to build on.
Let it be that while a county may consist of multiple Congressional Districts; no county can be split amongst Congressional Districts outside of that county. It shall be legal for counties with large populations to be accorded two or more Congressional Districts within the county per the latest US Census data. It shall be illegal for any parts of a county to be in a Congressional District outside that county; for one part of a county to be part of one Congressional District and another part of the same county to be in another Congressional District outside that county.
In less densely populated counties, every resident thereof would be represented in the US Congress by the same Congressperson. More densely populated counties may be home to one or more cities or towns. Most have long been divided into precincts, voting districts, or polling districts. These should be subject to the same rules as those for the less densely populated counties. That is: None can be split amongst Congressional Districts outside that county. Every resident of a precinct, voting district, or polling district thereof would be represented in the US Congress by the same Congressperson.
The drawing of voting Districts should never have been in the hands of politicians. Similar rules to those proposed herein should apply to districting for state representatives within the individual states. The granting to the states this right allows them to deprive their citizens of their franchise; was one of the original sins.