Letter to the Editor: Walker’s untruthfulness on gerrymandering

I write to point out the most egregious lie not told by someone named “Trump” that has appeared in the Daily Sun thus far in 2020. In his April 5th Op-Ed “The GOP’s next big battle” regarding gerrymandering, notorious former Wisconsin governor Scott Walker penned this whopper: “the National Republican Redistricting Trust…fight(s) for constitutional, clean, commonsense redistricting for all Americans.”

The depth of Walker’s untruthfulness is revealed by a perusal of Wisconsin’s 2018 electoral results. That year, a majority of Wisconsin voters (52.99%) cast their ballots for Democratic candidates for the state’s General Assembly, but won only 36 of the 99 seats (36.4%). In contrast, although only 44.75% of Wisconsinites voted for Republican candidates, this minority won 63 seats (63.6%). Per Wikipedia, “Democrats would have needed to win the statewide popular vote by a margin of 20.36% to win a majority of seats.”

The 36 Democratic winners garnered, on average, 92.17% of the votes cast in their districts, meaning that hundreds of thousands of Democratic votes simply didn’t count, they were mere surpluses in a small number of districts. In gerrymander-speak, this tactic is termed “packing.”

In contrast, 63 Republican district winners on average won with 62.1% of their districts’ votes. The gerrymandering term for that tactic is “cracking”: cracking a considerable number of Democratic votes into as many district minorities as possible.

“Pack and crack” is the fundamental dirty deed of gerrymandering, which prevents a state’s majority party from winning their fair majority of the representative seats, reserving that majority of representation instead to a fundamentally cheating minority party. It’s the modern sophisticated, computer-driven equivalent of the fundamental disenfranchisement that led Americans to revolt against Britain in 1776.

Numbers don’t lie, but Scott Walker sure did!

And most unfortunate of all, Wisconsin was just one state among many that the GOP de-democratized in 2010, using their computer tool ‘RedState’ to maximize GOP gerrymandering efficiency, and thereby minimize American (small ‘d’) democracy.



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