by Jessica Mosby
On Tuesday you may think that you are going to the polls to choose your next elected official, but the upsetting reality of many congressional and state elections is that incumbent politicians have manipulated district boundaries to decide the outcome of elections before any votes are cast. During every election we experience the effects of gerrymandering, and yet outside of high school civics class, the term “gerrymander” is not commonly used or understood by most voters.
To Gerrymander: To divide (a territorial unit) into election districts to give one political party an electoral majority in a large number of districts while concentrating the voting strength of the opposition in as few districts as possible.
The new film Gerrymandering clearly explains its namesake while documenting how racial, partisan, and incumbency gerrymandering are responsible for the state of our democracy. Director Jeff Reichert approaches his subject matter with a sense of urgency, as the United States will once again redistrict in April 2011 based on the results of the 2010 census.