23 February 2018

Gerry-cycling or Bike-Mandering?

Here in the US, it seems that political campaigns never end.  El Cheeto Grande has been in office barely a year, yet there is already talk about whether he'll run for re-election--or make it through this term.  There's even more talk about the midterm elections:  This November, many members of Congress are retiring, not running for re-election or face challenges to retain their seats.  Such things are normal after a new President is elected, especially if he is from a different party from his predecessor's:  The "opposite" party usually gains a few Congressional seats in the "midterm".

Some politicians will do just about anything to get themselves re-elected, including re-drawing maps. The purpose is to isolate voters of the opposing party in districts that vote for the party of the candidate who is running for re-election.  The boundaries of some redrawn districts are abstract, to put it charitably.  Others are creative in perhaps unintentionally perverse ways, such as the infamous one drawn for Elbridge Gerry (hence the name) in early 19th Century Massachusetts.

Now, if politicians are really interested in "fair and free" elections, their maps should look more like this:

which, by the way, is a GPS map of the ride Bill and I took Saturday!