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March 25, 2017

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14 Year Old Child Bride Facing Death Penalty for Murdering Husband -

Saturday, November 29, 2014

BREAKING: New Coal Disaster In West Virginia -

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

U.S. Hostage Freed by Colombia’s FARC Rebels (Video) -

Monday, October 28, 2013

Here’s Why The Zimmerman Verdict Matters -

Sunday, July 14, 2013

BREAKING! UK Government Spied On Allies At TWO G20 Summits (Video) -

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Swiss Support Tougher Asylum Legislation as Refugee Numbers Spike -

Monday, June 10, 2013

American Woman Killed in Syria Fighting for Terrorists, Syrian TV Claims (Video) -

Friday, May 31, 2013

CO2 in the Air Reached its Highest Level in Human History -

Friday, May 10, 2013

Terms of the New Abortion Bill Agreed by Irish Cabinet -

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Boston In Lockdown As Manhunt Intensifies -

Friday, April 19, 2013

2 Dead, Dozens Injured After Boston Marathon Bombing -

Monday, April 15, 2013

Fast Food Workers in New York Stage Surprise Strike -

Saturday, April 6, 2013

N. Korean Rhetoric Provokes Missile Shield Deployment -

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Eyewitness Accounts from Meiktila Massacre -

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sudan to Free All Political Prisoners -

Monday, April 1, 2013

A New Free Press In Burma Juxtaposed With Genocide: The World Will Be Watching -

Friday, March 29, 2013

Pressure Builds to End Ethnic Violence in Myanmar -

Friday, March 29, 2013

Activists Demand Action As Further Genocide Looms -

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cyprus Reaches Last-Minute Bailout Deal With EU -

Monday, March 25, 2013

Myanmar Muslims Brace for Possible Genocide -

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Gerrymandering: Funny Word, Dangerous Consequences

Gerrymandering is a practice of redrawing a district’s boundaries that favor one or more groups of voters and some candidates over others. The process is extremely partisan and has been exploited by both parties for political advantage.

The United States is the only advanced democracy in the world where politicians directly participate in the redistricting process. Biased redistricting might not be the only cause of the problems in the U.S. political climate, but it has considerable negative affects.

Districts divide states into geographical territories where most of the federal, state and local representatives and legislatives are elected from. Redistricting originally started in the Colonial Era as a method of redrawing the districts in a State to ensure fair representation of all people in every area of each State.

After the several cases have been presented to the Supreme Court regarding population disparity, in mid 1960s the court decided that the population disproportion violated the U.S. Constitution, and it required district boundaries to be periodically readjusted to reflect the population growth and changes. Now, every 10 years following the Census, district boundaries have to be redrawn.

Since then, redistricting has become a contentious subject due to its predisposition to corruption and partiality. Because there are no national standards on how to redistrict a State, elected ruling party has the advantage and the votes to redraw a State’s districts according to its benefit.

Gerrymandering can be used in favor of ruling incumbents or a political party drawing the map. It is particularly effective in plurality voting systems also known as the ‘winner-takes-all’, or ‘simple plurality,’ such as in USA.

Gerrymandering undermines the democratic process by corrupting the election practices which in turn can tarnish the elector’s trust in the system. It also affects every aspect of the communities included or excluded in certain districts, from school board decisions to economy of the region.

The word’s origin dates back to early 1800s when the Massachusetts governor Eldridge Gerry signed a bill to redistrict Massachusetts to benefit his party. After the redrawing of the map, one of the contended districts in the Boston area resembled the shape of a salamander. The term was a combination of the governor’s last name and the word salamander.

Several non-profit organizations are actively working on resolving the problems of redistricting and gerrymandering. The Center for Voting and Democracy and EndGerrymandering.com has numerous resources and information on the reforms being considered to make the redistricting process more transparent and fair.

Image Credit: impactfilmfund.org

Emine Dilek (194 Posts)

Publisher/Managing Editor: Progressive Press. Contributing Editor: WVoN-Women's Views on News. Columnist: Palm Beach Woman Magazine. Former executive producer and radio host: WVR -Women's Voice Radio, Human Rights/Peace Activist, Aspiring Author/ Journalist/ Poet/ Blogger. Emine also appears as a revolving guest on PNN radio show -international political analyst-, and had been a guest on Liberal Fix and Brian Hammer Jackson Show. Her articles have been published in various publications such as The Vibe UK, The New Agenda, W.E.A Women @ Work, Amazing Women Rock and ICAHK.