News

Can America’s democracy survive precise, self-serving, high-tech ‘gerrymandering’?

September 17, 2016

By Jay Thorwaldsen
Palo Alto Online
(California)

When Joe Simitian ran for state Senate in 2004 he discovered that his district “resembled an old-fashioned telephone handset,” as he described it at the time. One end encompassed Midpeninsula communities, including his home base of Palo Alto, where he was deeply rooted and well-known. The other end was far south, covering the Santa Cruz region, where he was virtually unknown to voters and had to hustle hard to learn the region’s history and issues. The two lumps were linked by a narrow strip.