Drawing the Line: Evaluating Redistricting Institutions and the Future of Representation
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Since the 2010 U.S. House elections, many have characterized Washington as marred in "gridlock". Despite resounding Democratic wins in 2008 and 2012, the Republicans have held onto a solid majority in the House. Some attribute this advantage to the redistricting process, authorized by the Constitution to take place every ten years based on population changes as recorded by the Census. "Gerrymandering", or the manipulation of district lines to favor one party over the other, can have far-reaching consequences in election results and in subsequent policy decisions. In "Drawing the Line", I examine the types of institutions each state charges with carrying out its congressional redistricting, in order to: 1) better inform Court decisions based on the intent and effects standards set forth in Davis V. Bandemer (1986), and 2) understand potential institutional pathways to ensure accurate representation through comparing two-party vote results with actual state congressional delegations.