Editorials: Bills in Minnesota Legislature are at odds with balanced redistricting | David Schultz/StarTribune
One of the chief causes of the partisan polarization and political gridlock across the country is the gerrymandering of congressional and state legislative districts. To prevent this gerrymandering, voters across the country are taking the power to redistrict away from legislators and entrusting it to nonpartisan commissions. Minnesota should follow this example, but there are bills in the Legislature right now that would prevent that from happening. Dating back to the 18th century, state legislatures had the job of drawing congressional and state legislative district lines after the decennial census. Unfortunately, this task has not always been done fairly, with incumbents and the party in control drawing lines to favor them or to disadvantage people of color or some geographic region. Until the 1960s, rural legislators drew lines to favor their constituents at the expense of the larger and growing urban populations. But the Supreme Court issued several decisions launching a reapportionment revolution demanding that district lines honor the “one person, one vote” standard with equal populations. These decisions helped but did not eliminate the partisan drawing of district lines.