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Dec 10, 2019

Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. Since the days of Massachusetts Governor Eldridge Gerry (pronounced with a hard g), whose 1812 redistricting plan for the state senate produced the salamander-shaped district that made his name famous, American political parties have sought to draw electoral maps to their own advantage. What has changed recently, argues DAVID DALEY, is the sophistication of the technology available to achieve this end – and the slowness of laws and courts to keep up. In his discussion with political scientist Matthew Berkman, Daley describes how Republicans made a brilliant political play in the 2010 elections to gain control of state legislatures and, consequently, the power to draw electoral maps. And while lower courts have been open to computer-aided fairness tests, the Supreme Court under John Roberts has rejected this role for the judiciary. Daley, author of Ratf**ked: Why Your Vote Doesn't Count, find room for hope, but fears that time may be running out to prevent “democracy deserts” from appearing in many U.S. states.