The Complexity Of Redistricting And Elections

By Steve Goldstein
Published: Tuesday, November 6, 2018 - 1:31pm
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Though the numbers are fluctuating depending on which polling data you look at, Democrats are expected to gain seats in the U.S. House when all of the ballots are counted next week.

But will those gains fall short of what was being called the "Blue Wave?"

This is the idea that Democrats would have such a successful November 6 that they would take back the House majority.

If they do, it may have something to do with gerrymandering via redistricting. There are simply so many “safe” seats thanks to how districts have been drawn that the odds are typically against massive gains.

The Show talked to Ken Strasma, CEO of Haystaq DNA. He helped the IRC create Arizona's district maps in 2011 and gave us insight about getting the most accurate information before drawing the maps, and how challenging that can be.

Arizona’s IRC has been the subject of lawsuits. Its Chair, Colleen Coyle Mathis, was even removed from her position by then Gov. Jan Brewer before the state Supreme Court reinstated her.

The Show spoke with Mathis at the conference and asked her whether a redistricting commission can truly be independent.

The national picture is even more complicated, as most states don’t have independent commissions — and some of those have legislatures that have created maps that strongly benefit one party or the other.

To get a broader perspective, The Show also caught up with Justin Levitt — he is an election law professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.

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