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Yes, US elections are rigged -- but not in the way Donald Trump thinks

By       Message Trevor Timm       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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From The Guardian

Statue of Freedom with flag flying over US House of Representatives
Statue of Freedom with flag flying over US House of Representatives
(Image by USCapitol)
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If Donald Trump actually cared about "rigged" elections, he would stop complaining about the demonstrably false "voter fraud" myth he keeps peddling and instead focus on the real problem: gerrymandering -- the changing of electoral boundaries for political gain. Of course he'll never do that, since gerrymandering is a Republican party specialty and the only thing keeping the GOP from losing the House of Representatives this year.

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All signs point to Trump suffering a rout in two weeks, with Clinton's chances of victory north of 80 or 90%, according to statistical analysis from both the New York Times and FiveThirtyEight. Donald Trump is the most unpopular candidate in modern history, and in elections past, he'd be dragging the rest of the party to a historic defeat in Congress as well.

But despite all this, there's almost no chance the Republicans will lose control of the House of Representatives this election -- or in the one after it -- since Republicans in statehouses across the country have fixed the election process by redrawing the congressional district maps in several key states in 2010. They can retain a majority even when Democrats received far more total votes. (The Washington Post has a helpful graphic that explains exactly how gerrymandering works.)

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Former Salon editor in chief David Daley has a new book out on the subject and described how the Republicans accomplished this seat-rigging feat in a recent interview:

"It was a two-part plan. In 2010, they had to take control of all of the chambers. In 2011, they sat down with some of the most skilled mapmakers in the country, and they drew lines with the express intent of using redistricting as a partisan hammer to lock in control of the House for the next decade."

The results were dramatic. As Vox's Andrew Prokop explained this week, "When Americans voted for the House in 2012, Democratic candidates won 1.4 million more votes than Republicans. Yet after the dust settled, the GOP ended up with a 234-201 majority in the chamber."

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