Friday, October 22, 2010

Gerrymandering harms all voters

Hold Politicians Accountable on Election Day
'Gerrymandering' Exposes the Problems and Absurdities with Letting Politicians Draw Their Own Districts
By Arnold Schwarzenegger, California Governor

Right now, across the country, our two major political parties are gearing up for a once-a-decade war whose winner will control Congress for the next ten years, and possibly more. There will be battles in every state, and each will be kept carefully hidden from the prying eyes of average voters who only become more disenchanted with their government with each meaningless election.

Democrats and Republicans collude to keep these skirmishes private so that they can maintain total control over the ultimate political weapon: the ability to directly determine the outcome of elections. Why bother stuffing ballots when they can just draw districts? For the first time, Gerrymandering exposes the most effective form of manipulating elections short of outright fraud. After the 2010 Census is finished, will you know where your district went?

Gerrymandering looks at the practice of politicians around the country drawing their own election districts to protect their jobs and power. California voters should know that voting Yes on 20 and No on 27 can eliminate this practice in California.

The film is timely and relevant in California because Prop 20, on the November ballot, will extend the redistricting reforms voters approved in 2008 so that the independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, instead of Sacramento politicians, will draw congressional districts in addition to state Assembly and Senate districts. Prop 20 will stop Sacramento politicians from drawing “safe” districts for their friends in Congress, which virtually guarantee their reelection even when they ignore the needs of voters.

By supporting Prop 20, voters can help ensure that all California politicians are held accountable and put an end to the backroom deals that have characterized the politician-controlled redistricting system for decades.

Also, voters should not be fooled by the incumbent politicians and special interests who are bankrolling Prop 27. Prop 27 will gut the voter-approved Citizens Redistricting Commission and return the power to draw districts to legislators. Voting No on 27 will stop the politicians’ power grab and ensure voters have a real voice in elections. 

The Yes on 20/No on 27 campaign is a broad-based coalition of individuals and groups including AARP, California Common Cause, the National Federation of Independent Business/California, NAACP California State Conference, California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, California Black Chamber of Commerce, Latin Business Association and many more that believe the voter-approved Citizens Redistricting Commission, not Sacramento politicians, should draw district lines for Congress.

To learn more about the Yes on 20/No on 27 campaign and the growing list of California stakeholders that want to hold politicians accountable, visit Or follow the campaign on Twitter at To learn more about Gerrymandering, visit

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