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DAY 5 – CRACKING AND
PACKING – DISTRICTING
IN THE HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES
July 2, 2013
Announcements
 Tomorrow‟s readings
 Read Sides‟ “Gerrymandering is not what‟s wrong
with American Politics”
 DO NOT REA...
In the News - VRA Ruling
 What is the Voting Rights Act?
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpI1YuyMCKY
 House vote - http...
Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/06/25/what-the-voting-rights-act-decision-means-for-politics/
Constitutional Qualifications for
Holding Office
 Age (25 for House, 30 for Senate)
 Citizenship (7 years for House, 9 y...
Senate Apportionment
 “One of the most malapportioned legislatures
in the democratic world.”
 9 largest states – 51% of ...
House Apportionment
 The Method of Equal Proportions
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUCnb5_H
Zc0
 2010 Census
 http:/...
Size of Congress Over Time
 Congress could
not agree on an
apportionment
strategy after
1920 census.
 Self-interest
 Pr...
Geographic Trends
 Apportionment Over
Time
 http://www.census.g
ov/2010census/data
/
 Continued
population decline
in N...
Data collected from U.S. Census Bureau
Districting in the House
 Voting Rights Act of 1965
 Requires states to not dilute the representation of
racial minoriti...
Malapportionment
 “The silent gerrymander”
 Motivated by:
 Racism
 Rural bias
 Reynolds v. Sims (1964)
 http://www.p...
2012 Electoral Map
Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/24/republican-vote-rigging-electoral-college_n_2546010.ht...
Electoral College Reform
 Nebraska and Maine
 Winner of state‟s popular vote gets 2 electoral votes.
 Winner gets 1 ele...
Seats Gained Under New Plan
Romney Gains Obama Gains
Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/24/republican-vote-rigg...
Results If Plan Were Adopted
Nationwide
Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/24/republican-vote-rigging-electoral...
Gerrymandering
 District line-drawing
that purposefully
maximizes seats for
one party or voting
bloc.
 Types of
gerryman...
Majority-Minority Districts
 Before VRA, “blacks were systematically
„packed‟ into or „cracked‟ across congressional
dist...
http://www.nationaljournal.co
m/congress/since-1982-
minority-congressional-
districts-have-tripled-graphic-
20120413
North Carolina 4th District
Source: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/NC/4
Maryland 3rd
Source: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/MD/3
Texas 27th
Source: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/TX/27
Texas 23rd
Source: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/TX/23
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Day 5 - Cracking and Packing: Districting in the House

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Please contact me at lee.hannah@psu.edu for original files.

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Transcript of "Day 5 - Cracking and Packing: Districting in the House"

  1. 1. DAY 5 – CRACKING AND PACKING – DISTRICTING IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES July 2, 2013
  2. 2. Announcements  Tomorrow‟s readings  Read Sides‟ “Gerrymandering is not what‟s wrong with American Politics”  DO NOT READ Abramowitz et al.  I will send out a poll this afternoon for you to rank order your preferences for the legislative portfolio project.  Let me know if you are going to pair up with someone.  Let me know your top 5 states.  I will use a sophisticated algorithm to assign a state to your group.
  3. 3. In the News - VRA Ruling  What is the Voting Rights Act?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpI1YuyMCKY  House vote - http://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/89-1965/h87  What did the courts rule on?  http://www.oyez.org/cases/2010-2019/2012/2012_12_96  “Section 4 of the VRA creates a formula that determines what states should be subject to Section 5, which requires states to submit any changes to election or voting laws, alterations of state legislative or congressional district lines, to the Justice Dept. for Approval. (That process is commonly known as pre-clearance.) That formula was – until today – based on a) states that had used some form of ballot test (literacy being the main one) to determine whether people can vote and b) whether less than 50 percent of eligible voters were registered to vote by November 1964.”  Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/06/25/what-the- voting-rights-act-decision-means-for-politics/  Are people paying attention to this ruling (and others)?  Not really.  http://www.people-press.org/2013/07/01/public-divided-over-same-sex-marriage- rulings/
  4. 4. Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/06/25/what-the-voting-rights-act-decision-means-for-politics/
  5. 5. Constitutional Qualifications for Holding Office  Age (25 for House, 30 for Senate)  Citizenship (7 years for House, 9 years for Senate)  Residency (In the state from which the officeholder is elected)  Can states add to these qualifications?  U.S. Term Limits versus Thornton  http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990- 1999/1994/1994_93_1456#sort=vote  Do representatives have to live in their district?  No. Morgan Griffith “Residency” ad - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmqPvjecs-A
  6. 6. Senate Apportionment  “One of the most malapportioned legislatures in the democratic world.”  9 largest states – 51% of population  18% of representation in Senate  26 smallest states – 18% of population  52% of representation
  7. 7. House Apportionment  The Method of Equal Proportions  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUCnb5_H Zc0  2010 Census  http://www.census.gov/population/apportionment/f iles/Priority%20Values%202010.pdf  Last in – Minnesota (8)  First out – North Carolina  Would have earned a 14th seat in Congress if they had 15,734 more residents.
  8. 8. Size of Congress Over Time  Congress could not agree on an apportionment strategy after 1920 census.  Self-interest  Practical Concerns  Reapportionment Act of 1929 locks Congressional size at 435 Data collected from U.S. Census Bure
  9. 9. Geographic Trends  Apportionment Over Time  http://www.census.g ov/2010census/data /  Continued population decline in Northeast and Midwest.  Population growth in the West and Sun Belt Data collected from U.S. Census Burea
  10. 10. Data collected from U.S. Census Bureau
  11. 11. Districting in the House  Voting Rights Act of 1965  Requires states to not dilute the representation of racial minorities.  Single-member districts  1967 law (PL 90-196) prohibited at-large and other multi-member elections by states with more than one House seat.  Only affected 2 states – HI and NM  Anticipated a concern that southern states might move to this strategy.  http://archive.fairvote.org/?page=526
  12. 12. Malapportionment  “The silent gerrymander”  Motivated by:  Racism  Rural bias  Reynolds v. Sims (1964)  http://www.pbs.org/wnet/supremecourt/rights/land mark_reynolds.html
  13. 13. 2012 Electoral Map Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/24/republican-vote-rigging-electoral-college_n_2546010.html
  14. 14. Electoral College Reform  Nebraska and Maine  Winner of state‟s popular vote gets 2 electoral votes.  Winner gets 1 electoral vote per Congressional district won.
  15. 15. Seats Gained Under New Plan Romney Gains Obama Gains Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/24/republican-vote-rigging-electoral-college_n_2546010.html
  16. 16. Results If Plan Were Adopted Nationwide Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/24/republican-vote-rigging-electoral-college_n_2546010.html
  17. 17. Gerrymandering  District line-drawing that purposefully maximizes seats for one party or voting bloc.  Types of gerrymandering  Partisan  Pro-Incumbent  Majority-minority
  18. 18. Majority-Minority Districts  Before VRA, “blacks were systematically „packed‟ into or „cracked‟ across congressional districts to weaken their influence” (DOL p.53)  What are the pros and cons of majority- minority districts?  How have the courts ruled?
  19. 19. http://www.nationaljournal.co m/congress/since-1982- minority-congressional- districts-have-tripled-graphic- 20120413
  20. 20. North Carolina 4th District Source: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/NC/4
  21. 21. Maryland 3rd Source: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/MD/3
  22. 22. Texas 27th Source: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/TX/27
  23. 23. Texas 23rd Source: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/TX/23
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