logo

Many perspectives, 1 simple etiquette

Study: Majority Vote Doesn't Matter When Parties Pick Their Voters

image
Created: 10 June, 2016
Updated: 17 October, 2022
2 min read

A June 8 study published by the National Committee for an Effective Congress frames the effects of redistricting on congressional seats; namely, that the gerrymandering enacted in 2001 and 2011 have created large disparities between voters' intents and election results.

The NCEC study introduces a metric called the "seat-to-vote differential,"which calculates the difference in percentage between number of seats taken by the majority party and votes for that party.

For instance, in 1994, the majority party (Democrats) won 47.1% of seats with 46.9% of votes, with a seat-to-vote differential of about -.3. Using this measurement, the NCEC cites increasing fluctuations in the seat-to-vote differential as evidence of unfair redistricting practices: from 1994 through 2000, the differential fluctuates between .3 and .9, with one cycle (1996) at -2.6.

However, after the 2001 redistricting process, cycles from 2002-2010 range from -2.4 to 3.5. And the two cycles after 2011 redistricting, 2012 and 2014, score -4.5 and 3.8, respectively.

In short, the difference between the percentage of seats won has, in recent years, strayed further and further from the percentage of votes given to the majority party. According to the data, election results are increasingly failing to reflect the actual decisions of the American voter.

What's more, courts have yet to assert that there is anything illegal or unconstitutional about an incumbent protection scheme designed specifically to protect a party's majority. In many instances, the court has ruled that it cannot or won't tell state legislators how to draw electoral districts.

READ MORE": ‘Two Parties, One Winner’ Shouldn’t Override ‘One Person, One Vote’

Modern courts only tend to intervene when partisan gerrymandering may or may not be targeting demographics based on race, even though the Supreme Court established the legal precedent of "one person, one vote" in the 1964 case, Reynolds v. Sims.

The NCEC study shows that the role partisan gerrymandering has on disenfranchising voters continues to widen, protecting incumbents while keeping elections from being competitive. This creates an environment in which the interests of the voters are not reflected in state or federal legislatures.

Read more

joined hands
10 Reasons Why Americans Are Not as Divided as You Think
Photo by on  Party leaders, politicians, and media pundits and talking heads would have US voters b...
28 February, 2024
-
7 min read
people
LetUsVote: New Campaign Launches to End Discrimination Against Independent Voters
Open Primaries, in partnership with Unite America, announced the launch of LetUsVote Wednesday, a nationwide initiative that aims to mobilize and empower independent voters, who make up the largest voting bloc in the US but are treated like second-class voters....
27 February, 2024
-
4 min read
voting
For Good or Bad, Primary Changes May Be Coming to Elections Near You
Photo Credit:  The last couple of years have seen an increase in states looking to change their prim...
26 February, 2024
-
4 min read
voted
The Primary Problem: Only 8% of Voters Elect 83% of Our Representatives
In his latest podcast, former Democratic presidential candidate and Forward Party Co-Founder Andrew ...
26 February, 2024
-
3 min read
Weber
Blame This One on Secretary of State Weber
Eight years ago, there was a competition still in play between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton wh...
26 February, 2024
-
4 min read
ballots
Kansas Bill Would Make It Impossible for Many Independents to Run for Statewide Office
Photo By:  The Kansas House approved a bill Thursday that aims to make it substantially harder for i...
23 February, 2024
-
4 min read