[EM] More on Gerrymander prevention

Jurij Toplak jure.toplak at uni-mb.si
Fri Mar 22 02:03:28 PST 2002

> Another way to lessen (though not eliminate) gerrymandering would be to
> apportion districts by the total number of *votes* cast in the general
> election rather than the total *population* of the United States and
> by the total number of representatives. Then apportion representatives by
> number of votes cast.

Most of the countries draw districts according to the total "population".
Some draw them according to the "total number of voters" (for example
England) but none does it according to the "votes cast". The reason is
called "equal voting right principle". If the districts would be drawn
according to the votes cast that would mean that people that do not vote
would be underrepresented. However, they should not be underrepresented
since they have a right to be represented equally, too. But it is their
decision if they want to vote or not. Even if they do not vote, they should
be equally represented. Therefore districts have to be drawn according to
the total population. There is a difference between those that use the
population principle and those that use number of voters. The idea of the
first countries is that all the people have a voting right, but the minors
etc. do not execute it yet. Or, some ideas say - all the people have the
right to be equally represented, not just the voters. The second sort of
countries say that minors do not have a voting right and do not have a right
to be equally represented. Therefore, by your system, in any case the
principle of "equal voting right" or principle of "equal representation"
would be violated.


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