Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Crusade to End Partisan Gerrymandering

Action movie icon and two-term California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is on a mission to end partisan gerrymandering.

Partisan gerrymandering has become the biggest focus of Schwarzenegger’s post-gubernatorial political career. He is working with lawyers to help in the case Whitford v. Gill, which is scheduled to be heard before the Supreme Court on October 3, attending events to raise awareness, and started the Terminate Gerrymandering Crowdpac.

Read more about Whitford v. Gill here.

“In the movies, you solve this problem very quickly,” Schwarzenegger said recently.You go in the room, you break the door down, and you see all these guys mapping out the district lines and all this stuff, fixing the system—you just go blow up the room, burn the maps, throw everyone out the window, and your job is done…But that’s in the movies.” 

Schwarzenegger appeared on Politico’s Off Message podcast with Isaac Dovere. He explained that issues like partisan gerrymandering take time because it can be a complicated issue, and lawmakers have no interest in doing anything about it because “90% of them will always get elected.”

“They say to themselves, don’t touch what is not broken, but to us, from the way we look at it, [the election system] is very broken because we want to have more competition,” Schwarzenegger told Dovere.

He later added, “It is not just Republicans. It is not just Democrats. It’s the system.”

Listen to the full podcast here.

But election reform and improving democracy for voters is not new to Schwarzenegger. He was a major supporter of independent redistricting and nonpartisan primary reforms passed in California, where he served two terms as governor.

To us, from the way we look at it, (the election system) is very broken because we want to have more competition
Arnold Schwarzenegger

Schwarzenegger understands that elections should serve voters, not parties.

With elections, that means all voters should have equal access to all stages of the public election process. The most crucial stage of elections, primaries, should not serve a private purpose that explicitly benefits the Republican and Democratic Parties and their members.

With gerrymandering, that means voters should pick their lawmakers, plain and simple, not the other way around. Every voter is entitled to fair and accurate representation.

Photo Credit: Andre Luiz / shutterstock.com