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There's only one way to fix gerrymandering (and it's not through the courts)

May 7, 2023

"Gerrymandering is made possible by the use of single-member districts, used for the U.S. House and most state races in which voters elect a single official to represent them. Most democracies instead use proportional multi-member districts, in which multiple officials are elected in each legislative district proportionate to votes cast. Single-member districts are uniquely susceptible to gerrymandering; proportional multi-member districts make the practice prohibitively hard."

Map of California cities using RCV

"Some current solutions to the gerrymandering problem do help. The four states that use independent commissions, for instance, have mostly brought partisan gerrymandering to heel. But the solutions are imperfect. For example, elections in those states are generally not more competitive: Safe districts remain pervasive. California, for instance, which has mostly eliminated partisan gerrymandering, features only a handful of competitive districts (out of 52), and still delivers substantially more seats to Democrats than their statewide popular vote gives them due.

As more partisans sort themselves geographically, with red voters in more rural areas and blue ones in more urban ones, single-member districts inevitably generate more safe districts. The underlying problem—unfairly advantaging one party over another—persists. “Unintentional gerrymandering,” as some political scientists call it.

As long as the U.S. retains single-member districting, gerrymandering, intentional or not, is here to stay."

Cal RCV supports multi-member districts with Proportional Ranked Choice Voting for the California Senate and Assembly.

Read the full piece at

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