The Redistricting Game

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Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution states that, “Representatives…shall be apportioned among several states...according to their respective Numbers.” Apportionment is the mathematical process of dividing and allocating the four hundred and thirty five seats in the House of Representatives among the fifty states based on the population figures collected by the Census Bureau. This process, according to the Constitution, must be conducted “within every subsequent Term of ten Years.” Each of the fifty states is guaranteed one representative. The number of House of Representatives from each state fluctuates every ten years due to population deviation.

Redistricting is the legislative political process of redrawing the geographic boundaries of congressional district based on population following the decennial census. Each state is obligated to adhere to certain Supreme Court requirements regarding redistricting. Respective districts within a state should ensure population equality, contiguity, compactness and no discrimination against minority. Districts can be drawn to protect incumbents. The process of deliberately modifying districts in order to increase the partisan advantage of a particular political party is called gerrymandering.

For Mission One of The Redistricting Game, I was the State of Jefferson’s redistricting consultant and chose to work for the Democratic Party. My mission was to establish population equality by making sure that each district in the state has virtually the same number of people between 640,000 to 650,000. The virtual State of Jefferson has four district Representatives. Rep. Tyree Hugger, Rep. Emma Powerment, Rep. Manny Pulative, and Rep. Celia Coen-Valley representing Districts 1...

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...n over bipartisan commission or even worse, by the state legislature. I think bipartisan commission could ultimately result in bipartisan gerrymandering. On the other hand, the party in control of the state legislature often draws district lines in favor of its own political interest. Independent commission guarantees fair non-political congressional districts plans which cannot be vetoed by the governor who also acts in favor of his political party’s interest. I believe democracy in a state is attainable when the people legitimately vote for the representatives they want but not vice versa.

Works Cited

Dye, Thomas R., L. Tucker Gibson, Jr., and Clay Robison. Politics in America. Ninth ed. Vol. 2. New York, NY: Longman, 2011. 337. Print.

Gaskins, Keesha. "Texas Redistricting 101." Brennan Center for Justice. NYU School of Law, 12 Jan. 2012. Web. 9 Mar. 2012.

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