This term refers to the drawing of political districts for the purpose of ensuring certain outcomes in elections.
Gerrymandering ensures two things for citizens, both of them bad. It ensures low voter turnout, because the elections are rightly seen as a foregone conclusion. It ensures having elected officials who aren’t accountable to the voters. Without worries of a ballot box challenge, they tend not to listen to their constituents after a while.
This is an obvious problem, but neither Republicans nor Democrats want to change the system, because each party currently collects a share of fairly certain wins, fighting over just a handful of contested seats.
Here’s this year’s proof: 44 of 100 Indiana House seats will be uncontested this year. 9 of 25 Indiana Senate seats will also be uncontested.
In 2004, only 1 of the 25 Indiana Senate seats was any kind of contest, and even that wasn’t close. It was a 9-point margin.
Anyone interested in the integrity of our representative government should be calling for an end to gerrymandering. As Secretary of State, the State’s chief elections official, Mike will be the biggest cheerleader for this change.
It was great that a bill, HB 1009 was introduced in the 2006 short session to end gerrymandering, but most disappointing that it wasn’t deemed worthy of moving forward for a vote.
Districts should be redrawn to be more geographic in orientation. Mike Kole backs an end to gerrymandering, and urges passage of the bill, HB 1009.