Sorry for the length, but I didn't have time to write a short blog.

Friday, January 25, 2013

When in Doubt...Cheat


The electoral college has got to go and it's not for the reason you think.  Have you heard of REDMAP.  This the name given to the Republican Redistricting Project.  As a moderate independent, I am more than a little appalled by this idea.  REDMAP is a plan developed for/by local level Republican controlled states to redistrict the voting population.  What does it do? It ensures that no matter what the state vote, a Republican is virtually guaranteed to win a district because of the way the voting lines are drawn for districts.  This is how REDMAP works.  Representative districts are established not by size, but by most likely to vote for one group or another. Rather than dividing up large blocks of voters for representation, rural, typically more conservative districts are given more districts.  On appearance, it looks by mass the state is evenly divided but the division is by land not by populace. This is also known as gerrymandering, but it is more devious than that because this is very clever use of census data to create the districts.

This is not some theory from the Left, but a real idea ran by a Republican website,, which is very public. I had thought gerrymandering was illegal, but it can be done quite legally even if it isn't exactly ethical.  In fact in the last election just to show you how effective REDMAP was, it made the Republican control of the House possible.  Republicans were state-wide out-voted by votes for Democrats by more than a million votes. In other words, voters voted  only 49 percent of the time for Republicans in down ballot elections and yet they remain in control of the House.  A Republican memo on REDMAP actually states this. This was also pointed out in a Huffington Post article. REDMAP has been very successful.  Far more successful than the suppress the vote was.

So why now the electoral college.  Again this is not some hidden secret or Left wing conspiracy.  Using the information and redistricting information, the Republican controlled states that voted for Democratic presidential candidates in the election would split the electoral vote based on redistricting instead of all or none as it currently is.  That on the surface sounds reasonable until we consider the gerrymandering by REDMAP.  This means that a district with say 100 votes could vote for one candidate while a district with a 1000 or even 100,000 votes could vote for another candidate. Both would receive one electoral vote essentially weighting the vote in favor of lesser numbers.  So a rural district which typically votes Republican has a more heavily weighted vote than an urban vote which tends to vote more Democrat. The electoral college is now divided not by popular vote, but by the same gerrymandered votes used to give political advantage to one group.  The one vote idea goes out the window.

If this were in place last November, Obama despite winning the popular vote 51 to 47 percent would now not be president.  We are not talking some close split of the national vote as it was in 2000, we are talking a major failure of representative government. I know for some the idea of President Romney would be okay, until the reverse becomes true and it is your vote that is outweighed by something like REDMAP.  What is more is that it is not a move to do this in all states, but only in states that have voted Democrat in the past.

The political implications of this is astonishing.  It is a grab for power by one party. Regardless of whether it is Republican or Democrat, such moves violates everything that we believe. What is more is the idea has already begun.  During the inauguration,the senate in  Virginia, which is evenly split, realized they had one more vote than normal because one of the Virginia senate members was attending the event in D.C.  They rammed through the idea of redistricting while he was gone. The plan has also received the blessing of the national Republican chair.

An aware electorate is the most dangerous to these kind of ideas.  You can notify  Republican leaders that nobody should win this way.  If they cannot build an idea based on what is right and best, then they have no business being leaders.  I don't care if you are Republican, Democrat, Independent, Libertarian, or Green.  Either you believe in the idea of one person one vote, or you don't. Unethical cheating is not the answer to any political party's problems.