Bill would also end gerrymandering
In recent weeks, U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, has repeatedly expressed his anger at the Illinois redistricting process. I, too, am angry about partisan gerrymandering.
I think it has no place in a truly representative democracy. That’s why I urge him to support legislation such as the Freedom to Vote Act that would ban partisan gerrymandering nationwide. If he simply can’t abide the other voting reforms in that bill, he could always introduce it as a standalone bill. I would back that bill; unfortunately, Davis’ fellow Republicans would not.
If Republicans insist on their right to gerrymander states such as Texas, Wisconsin and North Carolina, their objections when Democrats gerrymander Illinois are obviously about a loss of partisan advantage, not principle. These are the rules they wanted to play by, but now they’re crying because Democrats have suited up and taken the field.
Of course, gerrymandering would be less of an issue if the number of House members weren’t capped at a figure established in 1910, when the country had less than a third of the population it has now. Expanding the House would make gerrymandering harder and reduce the stakes, and it would also bring members of Congress closer to the people they represent.
Today’s districts are too big. It’s impossible to be in touch with the opinions and needs of 750,000 people.