Let’s assume that there are two fictional states called Hancock and Franklin. The 2020 U.S. Census has been completed. Hancock and Franklin each have about three million citizens with one large city of about one million people and each state will have four members in the House of representatives. In the last election one-half of the people in each state voted Democrat and one-half voted Republican. Hancock has a Republican legislature and Franklin has a Democratic legislature.
With the census done it is time to draw the Congressional district maps. Both parties know that Republican voters tend to vote more regularly and are suburban and rural. Democratic voters tend to vote less regularly and live in the big city. Both legislatures want their party to win the most Congressional seats in the next election. Here is how each party will legally cheat to win the most seats.
First, Hancock will make it harder for its citizens to vote and Franklin will make it easier. This will mean fewer Democratic voters will vote in Hancock and more Democratic voters will vote in Franklin.
Next, each state will cheat in how they draw the lines for Congressional districts, gerrymandering. Hancock will draw one district that includes most of their big city Democratic voters ensuring that there will be one city Democratic Representative and three suburban/rural Republican Representatives. Franklin will split their big city Democratic voters into three districts with a minority of Republican suburban/rural voters in each district so that there will be three Democratic Representatives and one Republican Representative. So even though thre are an equal number of Republican and Democratic voters in each state, the party that controls the legislature is able to send three members of their party to Congress. Hancock will have three Republicans and Franklin will have three Democrats.
Both parties have used the first two methods of cheating to manipulate elections for years. But new laws that target and try to exclude certain kinds of voters and computer software that analyze voting patters have only made these first two ways of cheating more effective.
The third method of cheating is new. The Republican legislature in Hancock plans to change the law about who runs the election. The Hancock legislature is proposing to take elections away from non-partisan election officials who have run the elections for years and turn it over to a committee appointed by themselves, the legislature. That way, even if the first two ways of cheating, voter suppression and gerrymandering do not work, the Hancock legislature can declare that there was voter fraud and that the losing party actually won. That sounds outrageous, yet that is what the Wisconsin Republican run legislature is proposing to do.
The U.S. Constitution guarantees one “man” one vote. There is no mention of political parties at all. Yet political parties are undermining our votes and we are letting them get away with it.
It does not matter what political party each of us favors; our first loyalty must be to our Country and democracy. We must cry out against all forms of cheating. Political parties should win elections because they have the better ideas, not because they are better cheaters.