Gerrymandering — the drawing of district lines for the purpose of giving one candidate or party an electoral advantage — dates back to the Founding. (It was named for Elbridge Gerry, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and later Vice President under James Madison.) It's alive and well today, and as President Obama pointed out in this week's State of the Union, it distorts democracy by letting "politicians . . . pick their voters, and not the other way around." The problem goes both ways — Democratic state legislatures draw the lines to maximize Democratic congressional representation; Republicans do the same for their party.
How rigged are the districts? A story in today's Washington Post gives us an idea by comparing the actual congressional map with a map drawn by a computer using an algorithm to maximize compactness (rather than one party's political advantage). It's a revealing comparison – check it out after the jump.
Read the whole Post article here.