Well, yes. As long as we leave the process to the political process, it's going to be -- duh -- political. To the winners, go the spoils -- or something like that.
A few states have adopted a different method, some using an independent body to draw the lines that make sense geographically, ethnically, and by the numbers and leaving politics out of it.
In the midst of writing about this, Jim Wooten, conservative columnist and former editor of the AJC, also wrote about the referendum we're having here in metro Atlanta counties to levy an extra 1% sales tax to be used for improvements in the transportation.
And Wooten doesn't like the fact that the vote on the sales tax is being shifted from the day of the primary elections to the day of the general election. Here's why.
Obama will have no opposition in the Democratic primary, so their primary will be much less significant and fewer Democrats will bother to vote. In the general election there will be many more Democrats coming out to vote -- and Obama carried some of these metro counties in 2008.
Here's the telling line. Wooten wrote:
"The decision by the Republican majority to switch to a date that will attract more Democrats further skews the outcome."Further skews the outcome???
Affects the outcome, sure. But skews? As in -- ruins the validity of? Or to quote one dictionary definition: to distort, depict unfairly. Apparently Wooten has just revealed his true feelings. More Democrats voting creates a distortion and it's unfair.
No surprise. This is the same thinking behind the nationwide push to enact "voter fraud" legislation (requiring a photo ID) -- which is a manufactured "problem" if there ever was one. There are practically no cases of people intentionally trying to cast an illegal vote.
However, what it does is to put up a barrier that disproportionately suppresses the likely Democratic vote. True, it is not an insurmountable barrier for most people, who already have a photo ID, like a driver's license. But some people do not drive (mostly the elderly, the poor), and the extra effort to get to some place to get the special government issued photo ID is enough to reduce their numbers voting. And guess what? The elderly and the poor are more likely to be Democratic votes.
Meanwhile, these same Republican lawmakers, who are so intent on protecting the integrity of our voting process, completely ignore the much more likely possibility of voter fraud occurring in the absentee ballot process, where you don't have to have any kind photo ID to vote. Just a stamp.
Of course, each side tries to gain advantage and increase their vote. But I don't believe there is such a concerted effort on the part of Democrats to devise methods to actually, effectively decrease the number of Republicans who will vote. They do work to make registering to vote easier for their likely voting populations. The more people who vote the better democracy we have. That's different from actively trying to prevent your opposition from voting.
In fact, that's downright Un-American.