CityLab: Where Gerrymandering Is Containing City Power


A January 9 report from the Campaign Legal Center analyzing the impact of gerrymandering across all states in 2016 led to their finding that “the redistricting plans in the post-2010 cycle evidence more extreme partisan gerrymandering than any other decade in modern American history.”

Lind’s article argues that “[l]arger numbers of urban voters would have dramatic effects on state-level representation, such as senator and governor positions, which in turn would affect national policies as well as who gets elected as president.” But, as Wisconsin’s experience shows, it’s not quite that simple.

“It is true that if you had more turnout from cities that it could affect statewide races, but in Wisconsin it would not have any effect on the state legislature precisely because the state gerrymandered it to be that way,” says Ruth Greenwood, the Campaign Legal Center’s deputy director for redistricting. “So if you talk about Milwaukee having low turnout, most of the districts there are either packed toward the center or cracked along the edges of Milwaukee county and the other counties. You could run up the turnout rate as much as you’d like, but it wouldn’t make a difference.”

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