Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Voting & Making Changes for the Future part 2

metamora herald red tape flag

Gerrymandering, what is it? I had no clue until recently. This is a process in which government officials redistrict themselves to their benefit. They are allowed to redraw the lines that represent their districts and frame them in a way that is less beneficial to the opposite party. Sometimes when the new districts are drawn entire streets are left out altogether, if the official feels as if they are not going to receive the majority of the votes from that particular area. [1] Gerrymandering and some other issues are causing more voter suppression. This is making it more difficult for senior citizens, minorities, and in some cases military overseas to simply vote. Some states are making voting more difficult like Wisconsin while some like Illinois are trying to make it easier.

[2]  Why make voting more difficult? Well, gerrymandering has been used for many years to sway elections one way or another. Every ten years a census is taken across the USA. People are born, move, die, and turn 18 so the population is constantly changing and the census helps keep track. What happens is more people move to a certain area and those states are granted more voting districts. Leaving some states with hardly any at all. I am sure that is unequal and unfair as far as the electoral college goes. How can we make voting districts nonpartisan?

There are many political scientists and mathematicians working on this very issue. Some studies have found that using precincts, geography, and compacting population lead to results of a more [3] non-partisanship voting map. Computer algorithms and simulator programs are making this decision making process easier and fairer for all parties concerned. Another way to go about this is to let nonpartisan individuals be hired to do this for each candidate and come up with a collaboration each side can agree. There is another way we can avoid voting issues and it is new to us,but I think could work wonders.

Being able to [4] vote online is going to revolutionize the way voting is done. There could be an app for that. Now I know what you are thinking " they could steal your info or change your vote",but this does not have to be the case. There are perfectly safe websites and programs that could be used. The military has been using an online voting program for our soldiers overseas for some time now. Making a program/app like this available for the public would be so convenient for so many Americans. Some states have [5] mail in voting and that has been very successful along with Automatic Voter Enrollment. We should be moving toward a more inclusive and convenient voting policies, why not?

sources:  [1]https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/01/13/this-is-actually-what-america-would-look-like-without-gerryman [2] http://www.fairvote.org/gerrymandering#gerrymandering_key_facts
[3] http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jowei/Political_Geography_Wisconsin_Redistricting.pdf
[4] https://www.verifiedvoting.org/resources/internet-voting/
[5] https://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/voting-laws-roundup-2017

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