Presentation on theme: "Fair Game or Stacked Deck?. ORIGINAL GERRYMANDER Named for Elbridge Gerry, Governor of Mass., 1810-12 Later Vice President under Madison Plan elected."— Presentation transcript:
1. Concepts: Dilution and Packing Republicans sued for packing minorities together or dispersing them in small numbers across districts Democrats sued for transforming majority-minority districts into 40%-minority districts
Let’s play the gerrymander game (60:40 population)! Everyone votes color first, then policy Blue votes for Blue and united on policy Yellow votes for Yellow but divides 2:1 against Bluish policy
Option 1: Packing (3 Yellow, 1 Blue) – All Partisans of Color
Option 2: Majority-Minority (2 Yellow, 2 Blue) – All Partisans of Color
Is it better for Blue to elect 2 Blue partisans and 2 Yellow partisans ▪ OR 3 “Bluish” (pro-Blue agenda) Yellow and 1 Yellow partisan? a. Descriptive representation: People like me are in office b. Substantive representation: People who vote the way I want are in office
a. Point of equal opportunity now ≈ 40% Recent elections have seen African-American candidates win 11 of 15 Southern seats from 40-50% districts b. Drawing districts to maximize the number of minorities elected: 62% c. There is now a tradeoff between descriptive & substantive representation 3. Recent findings
44 46 48 50 52 54 56 58 60 949596979899100101102103104 Congress Vote Score 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 Number of Black Reps. Substantive Descriptive Votes in Support Number of Black Representatives Emerging tradeoff between descriptive and substantive representation?
a. Point of equal opportunity now ≈ 40% Recent elections have seen African-American candidates win 11 of 15 Southern seats from 40-50% districts b. Drawing districts to maximize the number of minorities elected: 62% c. There is now a tradeoff between descriptive & substantive representation d. Reason is lower polarization on race by whites 3. Recent findings
Great leaps have been made in the past two decades in the analysis of voting behavior This is now commonly used as a measure of members’ policy preferences Not because voting is the only important act But because it correlates with constituency service, committee work, etc. For substantive representation of black interests, define a legislator’s Black Support Score: BSS= % of votes cast with the black majority
Rep. Black Dem. White Dem. South Carolina State House
Can compare plans by calculating the expected substantive representation Combines prob. of election and support scores For Georgia, this was: Real argument is over the distribution of these scores, not over descriptive vs. substantive representation MeanMedian Baseline62.3%50.2% Proposed65.9%69.2%
Show changes in Election probabilities Substantive representation Maximizing plans Results: Greater crossover in voting means point of equal opportunity is under 50% BVAP Southern Democrats become more liberal A tradeoff emerges between substantive and descriptive representation
In the 1970s: 100% Concentrate African-American voters as much as possible Essentially, no white will vote for black representatives In the 1980s: 65% Strategy is still to elect African-Americans to office In the 1990s & 2000s: 45% Still a good chance of electing African-Americans Now better to spread influence across districts
“The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states… Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several states which may be included within this union, according to their respective numbers… The number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand, but each state shall have at least one Representative…”
In 1842: 6 states elected Representatives at large (winner take all) – equal to a 100% partisan gerrymander 25 states used single member districts (or only had one district) The Act mandated SMD: “should be elected by districts composed of contiguous territory equal in number to the number of representatives to which said state may be entitled, no one district electing more than one representative.
Some states ignored the 1842 Act; their representatives were seated anyway Parts were repealed, reinstated, and finally wiped out by Wood v. Broom (1932), which held that apportionment acts extended only until the next such act Some states retained at-large election until the late 1960s 1967: PL 90-196 mandates SMD but not contiguity
a. Baker v. Carr (1962): Court has the power to hear challenges to constitutionality of districts under the Equal Protection Clause. Suggests “one person, one vote” standard. Tennessee had not redistricted since 1901, leading to huge population disparities between districts (up to 10:1) Dissent: “Plaintiffs here invoked the right to vote and have their vote counted, but they are permitted to vote and their vote is already counted. The complaint being made here is that their vote is not powerful enough. They should seek relief in the legislative system, not the courts.”
Wesberry v. Sanders: Article I Section 2 requires House districts to be as nearly equal in population as possible Reynolds v. Sims: Equal Protection Clause extends “one person, one vote” standard to state legislatures
a. “Covered” jurisdictions (< 50% voting in 1960/1964 and used a device to limit voting -- including most of the South) need federal approval for changes in laws that might affect voting Redistricting, at all levels Changes in Electoral Systems Annexation/De-annexation of suburbs, etc.
b. Act prohibits “retrogression:” the purpose or effect of discriminating against voters based on race, color, or language minority group (Latinos, Asian- Americans, Native Americans). Examples: ▪ Going back to at-large elections from districts ▪ Annexing suburbs to dilute minority voting power in the city as a whole c. Unique: prior restraint on state actions d. Not permanent; renewed for 25 years in 2006 e. Upheld by Supreme Court as valid exercise of 15 th Amendment powers; under renewed challenge
a. Shaw v. Reno (1993): States may not draw districts solely on basis of race (violates Equal Protection Clause), even under the VRA b. Miller v. Johnson (1995): Need not maximize voting power of minorities where they are minorities c. Bush v. Vera (1996): Majority-minority districts not required, will be struck down if race is primary reason for drawing; de facto requirement for compactness and contiguity
“[B]izarre shape and noncompactness cause constitutional harm insofar as they convey the message that political identity is, or should be, predominantly racial.... [C]utting across pre-existing precinct lines and other natural or traditional divisions, is not merely evidentially significant; it is part of the constitutional problem insofar as it disrupts nonracial bases of identity and thus intensifies the emphasis on race.”
Race cannot be only reason to draw a district Districts must be contiguous (one solid block). Not much of a limit: This “earmuff” district in Illinois connects two Latino neighborhoods with I-294 corridor
Georgia reduced majority-minority districts to create minority-competitive districts (i.e. about 45% African-American) Appealed to the Supreme Court as Georgia v. Ashcroft Court ruled for Georgia, stating that: Retrogression is about more than electing minorities to office Minorities could choose to trade off descriptive and substantive representation Court relied heavily on the fact that most African-Americans vote Democratic
Forget categories; just use the probability of electing a minority candidate in each district Estimate this using “S-curves” Then add up the probabilities to get the expected number of minorities elected Can consider the variance of this distribution, too For Georgia, the proposed plan had slightly fewer expected minorities elected Problem with overpopulated districts
a. Legislative Services Bureau Rules: The four criteria for the Bureau's plans, in descending order of importance, are: population equality, contiguity, unity of counties and cities (maintaining county lines and “nesting” house districts within senate districts and senate districts within congressional districts), and compactness. Forbidden: political affiliation, previous election results, addresses of incumbents, or any demographic information other than population.
For N Districts: Let N=A+B where A and B are as nearly equal whole numbers as possible. (For example, 7=4+3.) Among all possible dividing lines that split the state into two parts with population ratio A:B, choose the shortest. Repeat within each part, until N districts created. Advantages: Simple, cheap, unbiased. Disadvantages: Ignores geographic features and communities with common interests
“Isoperimetric Quotients” Compare the area of a circle with a district’s border to the area it actually encompasses Try to minimize this number Effect: Attempt to create nearly-circular districts if possible
a. Most gerrymanders – even partisan ones – attempt to preserve most incumbents. b. Single-state neutrality is difficult – if all Republican states go neutral, Democrats could gain huge majorities by continuing to gerrymander their states c. Binding national reform requires constitutional amendment
A. Origins in Progressive Movement: Advocated measures to destroy political machines and instead have direct participation by voters in the nomination of candidates and the establishment of public policy.
1. Initiative: A process in which a proposal for legislation is placed on the ballot and voters can either enact or reject the proposal without further action by the governor or legislature. (Directs vs. Indirect) 2. Recall: A process in which voters can petition for a vote to remove officials between elections.
Popular referendum: A process by which voters can veto a bill recently passed in the legislature by placing the issue on a ballot and expressing disapproval. Also called direct referendum. Bond referendum: A process of seeking voter approval before a government borrows money by issuing bonds to investors. Advisory referendum: A process in which voters cast nonbinding ballots on an issue or proposal.
1. Laws may be poorly written 2. No deliberation during the writing of proposition – Only on whether to accept proposition 3. Interest group capture – Qualification, signature gathering have high costs – Special interest tend to dominate process 4. Complexity – counter-initiatives, long ballots
California study: African-Americans, Latinos and Asians are marginally less likely to vote on the winning side of a ballot initiative. Examples: Proposition 187 (1994) ▪ Prohibit undocumented immigrants from using public services (e.g., health care, education) Proposition 209 (1996) ▪ Prohibit public institutions from considering race, gender, ethnicity Proposition 227 (1998) ▪ Requires all public school instruction to be conducted in English
A. Systems of representation 1. Single-member simple plurality districts (SMSP) a.Produce strategic voting and two-party systems b.Minimize representation of dispersed minorities, may maximize representation of concentrated minorities c.Facilitate single-party majority government by turning pluralities into majorities d.Value some votes more than others in vote-to-seat conversions e.Create incentives to gerrymander
a. Minimize representation of minorities b. Give parties greater power than individual candidates
a. Proportional Representation: Seats allocated on basis of vote share i. Maximizes representation for dispersed minorities ii. Encourages third parties iii. Reduces impact of negative ads (reducing single opponent’s vote share might not increase own share) iv. Progressives adopted in early 20 th century municipal elections – paired with STV…
Step I: Any candidate with at least the quota of votes is declared elected. Step II: If any candidate has received more than the quota of votes then the excess or 'surplus' of votes is transferred to other candidates remaining in the count. Any candidate who obtains the quota is declared elected and the count returns to Step I. Otherwise it proceeds to Step III. Step III: The candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated or 'excluded' and his or her votes are transferred to other candidates remaining in the count. The process is then repeated from Step I until all seats have been filled.
Also allows rank-ordering of candidates (same ballot as STV) If no candidate receives majority: instant runoff(s) Drop the weakest candidate from the field and assign his/her votes to voters’ second choices Repeat until one candidate has a majority Usage: Cities: San Francisco, Burlington, Oakland, Minneapolis State: North Carolina adopted instant runoff voting for judicial vacancies. Special: Arkansas, Louisiana and South Carolina all use forms of instant runoff voting on ballots for military and overseas voters
If voters are smart, what tactics will they use? Compromise (vote for lesser evil): Most intense in SMSP and At-Large, less in IRV and STV Push-Over (if favored candidate likely to make the runoff, then cast top vote for extremist on other side, not popular moderate on other side): IRV, STV
Method: Vote checks off all acceptable candidates Minimizes strategic voting: Voting for someone never reduces the chance they are elected Never necessary to vote for less-liked candidate to avoid disliked candidate’s election Reduced incentives for negative campaigning Danger: Can result in lowest common denominator win (OK to many, but loved by none)
1. Adoption: Alternative to previous drafts that had Congress appoint President. 2. Goals = independence of executive from Congress, give slave states ability to block more populous states, distrust of democracy
p (your vote counts) = p (your vote determines your state) * p (your state determines the election) a. Voter-Ignorant Theory i. First part favors small states over large ones, if all states are equally divided (fewer votes = more likely your vote is needed) ii. Second part also favors small states (disproportionate number of electoral votes)
States are not evenly split Advantage goes to voters in “swing states” Disfavors minorities because they are disproportionately concentrated in large and less-competitive states
If influence of average non-Latino white voter = 1.00, then… Average African American voter =.94 Average Latino voter =.90 Average Jewish voter =.91 Average Asian-American voter =.97 Average immigrant voter =.89
Problem: 2000 election polarized voters on the issue, turning a consensus issue into a partisan one. Evidence:
Most electronic voting machines made by Diebold Machines easily hackable No voter-verifiable paper trail no way to perform manual recounts or prove fraud
a. Mistakes more likely: i. Untested designs. Example: “Butterfly ballot” in Hershey ii. First-time voters make more mistakes. iii. Democrats: Review of optical-scan ballots in Florida 2000 showed Gore voters more likely to “overvote” than Bush voters b. Problem: Instruction by poll workers may be biased. (Reports in 2004 that some poll workers showed people how to vote for Kerry – others described possibility of carefully steering a few votes to different candidates)
1. Provisions for major parties: Usually given special treatment 2. Filing fees – 7% of job’s annual salary in Florida! 3. Forced primaries – Arkansas requires self- funded party primaries in 69 of 75 counties, forbidding convention nominations. 4. Petition requirements limit access
West Virginia Must circulate petition before primary. Crime to approach anyone without saying “If you sign my petition, you cannot vote in the primary.” Illegal to circulate petition without "credentials" from election officials. If anyone who signs a candidate's petition then votes in a primary, the signature of that person is invalid. (Impossible to know who will actually vote in the primary, too late to get signatures after the primary)
Seventh Circuit struck down Illinois rules on Sept 18, 2006. No independent state legislative ballot access since 1980. Rules: Nominating petitions must be filed 323 days before election Required signatures = 10% of vote in last election for the office sought Anyone who signs the petitions is barred from voting in any party primary All signatures must be collected within 90 days of the deadline
1. No right to vote for President or even Presidential electors: “The individual citizen has no federal constitutional right to vote for electors for the President of the United States...” – Bush vs. Gore 2. Equal Protection Clause: “Having once granted the right to vote on equal terms, the State may not, by later arbitrary and disparate treatment, value one person's vote over that of another…It must be remembered that “the right of suffrage can be denied by a debasement or dilution of the weight of a citizen’s vote just as effectively as by wholly prohibiting the free exercise of the franchise.” – Bush vs. Gore
Section 2 Regulates Voting Arrangements Made illegal all voting arrangements that “deny or abridge” minorities’ right to vote ▪ E.g., at-large voting for city councils This section is nation-wide and permanent
A. Widely-supported values are incompatible 1. Get Out the Vote: Voting is a fundamental right that must never be abridged 2. Voter Integrity: Only legal votes should be counted 3. Agreements: Both assume democratic elections are best, citizens should choose their leaders, government must be accountable, etc
a. Get Out the Vote efforts may increase fraudulent voting i. Those hired to register voters have incentives to register fake/ineligible ones ii. Multiple registration opportunities / bans on voter purges make it difficult to remove voters who become ineligible (crime, relocation, death) iii. Motor-voter enables ineligible people with driver’s licenses to register (generally aliens and felons) iv. Easy registration = easy fraud v. Fraud most pronounced in registration rather than actual voting
i. Photo ID imposes costs of documentation on voters, especially poor, disabled, and elderly (non-mobile) ii. Registration purges eliminate legitimate voters Example -- Florida tried to purge felons in 2000 but up to 80% of list was erroneous: felons from non- disenfranchisement states, people with the wrong names, people with restored voting records, people charged but not convicted, etc.
Punishing registration fraud means threatening voter-registration drives with criminal penalties for mistakes Creating an “intent to defraud” element makes the threat of punishment ineffective (difficult to prove intent)
1. Partisanship a. Republicans tend to support purges, photo ID, and stiff penalties for illegally voting (Voter Integrity). They fear that people prohibited from voting will vote more than they fear being unable to vote. b. Democrats tend to support automatic or same- day registration (Get Out the Vote). They fear being unable to vote more than that people prohibited from voting will vote.
a. 24 th Amendment – Bans poll tax. Used by US District Court to overturn Georgia’s Photo ID Act in 2005 But US Supreme Court upheld Indiana law (6-3) in 2008. Key difference = free photo ID (but not free documents) b. Voting Rights Act (Section 4): Banned states from imposing most “tests or devices” on individuals’ right to vote Literacy Tests “Good Character” Requirements Language Barriers (added in 1975 -- controversial) Together with Section V (preclearance): Used to block Texas Voter ID law (presumption against state, discriminatory effect proven, no free alternative ID) by District Court panel appealed
First-time voters who register by mail must show identification -- driver's license, government ID card or other specified documentation -- in order to vote Requires accessible polling machines for disabled and non-English speakers Requires centralized registration lists Imposes standards of accuracy on voting machines Creates “provisional ballot” for non-verified voters instead of challenge system
a. Photo ID requirements i. Tend to reduce minority voting challenges under VRA (minorities 4-5 times as likely to lack photo ID as non-Latino whites). June 2005 Milwaukee County study: 47% of African American adults, 43% of Latino adults have valid drivers license (compared to 85 percent of non-Latino white adults).
Require machines to be manually audited for accuracy, voter-verified paper trails (VVPR)
i. Punishment of felons vs. citizenship for those who “repay their debt to society” ii. Disproportionately affects minority voters (= initial purpose when adopted after Reconstruction) Currently disenfranchised: 13% of African-American men, about 7% of Latino men, about 3% of non- Latino white men.
A. Overt threats are rare – VRA makes them felonies, local police usually investigate threats. Even subtle intimidation is rarely tolerated. (Example: GOP planned to videotape voters/license plates in minority precincts in some NC counties in 1998. Justice Department threatened to prosecute under VRA) B. Intimidation usually targeted at minorities – Voting patterns make it possible to infer a group’s likely political impact based race/ethnicity. Other targeted groups = college students, elderly. Example of strategic vote suppression: In 2004, Michigan state Rep. John Pappageorge (R-Troy) was quoted in the Detroit Free Press as saying, “If we do not suppress the Detroit vote, we're going to have a tough time in this election.” (African Americans comprise 83% of Detroit’s population.)
1. Abuses by law enforcement (rare) Examples: a. Waller County DA and Prairie View A&M students 2004 (DA ignores 1978 court order) b. South Dakota’s 2004 primary: Native Americans prevented from voting after photo IDs demanded (which are not required under state or federal law)
a. Jesse Helms and the “Voter Registration Bulletins” Jesse Helms = Divisive Politics ▪ Margins of Victory: 54-46, 55-45, 52-48, 53-47, 53-46. 1990 Senate Election (NC) – Jesse Helms vs. Harvey Gantt ▪ Close election: Gantt has early lead ▪ 125,000 North Carolina voters (97% African American) sent postcards that said: ▪ They are not eligible to vote if they have moved (false) ▪ If they tried, they could be prosecuted for vote fraud (also false) Helms wins. 1992: Helms campaign charged with violating Voting Rights Act of 1965, admits guilt. No penalty.
Dillon County, SC: State Rep. Son Kinon (R) mails 3000 African-Americans brochures: “You have always been my friend, so don't chance GOING TO JAIL on Election Day!...SLED agents, FBI agents, people from the Justice Department and undercover agents will be in Dillon County working this election. People who you think are your friends, and even your neighbors, could be the very ones that turn you in. THIS ELECTION IS NOT WORTH GOING TO JAIL!!!!!!”
“The Code of Virginia states that a student must declare a legal residence in order to register…By making Montgomery County your permanent residence, you have declared your independence from your parents and can no longer be claimed as a dependent on their income tax filings — check with your tax professional.” False: US Tax Code allows students to be dependents even if they have a different residence. “If you have a scholarship attached to your former residence, you could lose this funding.” No known example – ever. Effect: More than 1000 students withdraw their registration applications College students are common targets for intimidation, regardless of color (often outnumber local voters). Most common in local elections.
a. Misinformation i. 1990 Texas (Gregg County): Elderly sent postcards advising them to discard absentee ballots and walk into the polls (must cancel absentee ballot well before voting at the polls) ii. 2002 Louisiana runoff – flyers distributed to public housing claim that election will be delayed by three days if it rains
Texas has no law prohibiting deceptive election practices
Anti-Walker group sends out letters with names and voting history of neighbors, ostensibly to “get out the vote”
2004: Republican committee in New Hampshire jams Democrats’ lines to prevent voter transportation Felony convictions result.
i. Definition: Voter registration analysis and challenges conducted via use of mailing lists ii. Technique: Mail postcards or flyers marked “do not forward / return to sender,” make a list of those returned, challenge those voters at the polls as nonresidents iii. Problem: Prevents military personnel and others entitled to vote from voting. Easy to target mailings to only minority neighborhoods. iv. Status: Republican Party agreed to consent decree following 1986 elections that prohibited caging targeting minorities or conducted via mass mailings. Memos show technique used in 2004 election, and suit underway over use of foreclosure lists in Michigan to compile challenges for 2008.
Democrats more likely to be identified with fraudulent voting Republicans more likely to be identified with vote suppression Electoral Math: 1 fraudulent vote = 1 vote suppressed. Unclear which one is more rampant. Can both be eliminated?
1. Restricted “issue ads” targeting candidates 60 days before election – if funded by corporations, unions, or political nonprofits 2. Banned “soft money” for national parties 3. Prohibited contributions from foreign nationals and minors 4. Imposed tougher disclosure rules, including “Stand by Your Ad” provisions
Relied on FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life, Inc (2007, 5-4) Largely overturned McConnell vs. FEC (2003 5-4 decision upholding BCRA) Held that corporations are people for First Amendment purposes – struck down the “issue ads” limitations
1. Soft Money to State Parties 2. Hard Money Limits Doubled 3. “Issue” attack ads unlimited (after citizens United) 4. 527 Groups and “independent expenditures”
a. “Clean Money, Clean Elections” – Public Financing b. Campaign Finance Amendment – Allow regulation of individual expenditures c. Hands-Off – Treat all contributions as protected speech
A. Definition: Invented or deliberately destroyed ballots altered the winner Difficulty: “The individual citizen has no federal constitutional right to vote for electors for the President of the United States unless and until the state legislature chooses a statewide election as the means to implement its power to appoint members of the Electoral College.” – Bush v. Gore
South Carolina, Florida, Louisiana contested by Republicans (fraud, threats of violence alleged) Republican election boards award victory in state races to Republican governors and legislatures Republican legislatures then award all disputed electoral votes to Hayes by subtracting sufficient “fraudulent” Democratic votes from returns Note: Supreme Court considered too partisan to hear dispute (Electoral Commission created by Congress) Commission votes on party lines (8-7) to award all electoral votes to Hayes
Close election in many states, including Texas, Illinois RNC requests recounts in 11 states Most find no irregularities Texas: Federal courts dismiss Republican challenge Illinois: Recount of Cook County finds 943 new Nixon votes (4500 needed) Hawaii: Recount awards state to Kennedy Most political scientists: Fraud occurred (esp. in Cook County) but didn’t tip the election
Gore received more votes in Florida than Bush (post-election recount of “over” and “under” votes by press organizations) BUT Gore’s proposed recount (“under” votes only) would not have revealed enough spoiled Gore ballots Different decision in Bush vs. Gore would probably not have led to Gore win!
Clear evidence of vote fraud (participation rates over 100%) Some partisanship in vote challenges: Partisan judges tend to differentially uphold provisional ballots No evidence that scale of fraud was sufficient to alter result
Clear examples of stolen elections exist at other levels of government LBJ wins the Democratic Senate primary in Texas, 1948 If fraud didn’t get him elected, it wasn’t for lack of trying (both sides probably committed fraud with THOUSANDS of ballots – but LBJ controlled more election supervisors and less than 200 votes determined the winner) ▪ 200 “extra” ballots were “found” – all cast in alphabetical order and marked in the same handwriting and with the same dark ink
Landrieu (D) defeats Jenkins (R) by 5788 votes. Jenkins submits affidavits alleging more than 7000 fraudulent votes, although some later recant. Senate investigation upholds the election
“Winning” Democratic mayoral candidate Suarez (by a few hundred votes): Employed local organized crime figures to forge hundreds of absentee ballots in the name of elderly, nonresident, or dead people Offered homeless people $10 to cast fraudulent absentee ballots in others’ names People interviewed by Miami Herald openly admit voting despite being nonresidents. Herald concludes that people simply don’t care about the election law. March 1998: Court throws out 4740 absentee ballots due to evidence of tampering, orders “losing” Republican candidate installed as mayor
1. The old-fashioned way: rig the machines and stuff ballot boxes (poll watchers make this difficult today) 2. The big-city way: supporters register in multiple precincts, vote in all of them (has become risky so few volunteer) 3. The easy way: absentee ballots a. Nearly every recent “stolen election” involved massive absentee ballot fraud b. Both parties afraid to touch absentee ballots – Elderly (Pro-Dem) and Military (Pro-Rep) both use extensively. 4. The subtle way: deprive them of voting machines (many people won’t wait in line for eight hours to vote)