Professors Brian Hollenbeck and Michael Smith help us understand gerrymandering. Hollenbeck is the lead author of a chapter on “Using mathematics to understand how gerrymandering affects partisan voting power” in a 2022 book on Much sound and fury, or the new Jim Crow? The twenty-first century’s restrictive new voting laws and their impact (SUNY press). Hollenbeck is the Chair of the Department of Math and Economics at Emporia State. Smith is the Chair of the Department of Social Sciences, Sociology, and Criminology there and is the editor of that book as well as an author of five of the ten chapters in that book. They discuss their research with Radio Active Magazine host Spencer Graves.
Gerrymandering is a major threat to the concept of one person one vote but hard to quantify. The new districts proposed by the Kansas legislature split Wyandotte county in half. Democrats suggest this is intended to make it extremely difficult for Democrat Sharice Davids to keep her seat in the US House, so Republicans get all four of the Kansas delegation to the US House. The map is called “M3_AdAstra_2 for KLRD TR“, available from the web site of the Kansas Legislative Research Department. An April 4 report in the Kansas Reflector describes a hearing on this before Wyandotte County judge Bill Klapper. The case was before the Kansas Supreme Court at the time of the broadcast.
This is actually the third in a series of four discussions on different parts of this book. For the other three, see:
- Voter ID and proof of citizenship (from March 1)
- Felony disenfranchisement and election activism of civil rights groups (from April 12)
- History of voter suppression (from June 7)