How It Works
Direct Connection
Forcing the Issue
People & Property
Full Representation
All Votes Count
No Middleman
Commerce Model
A Perfect Match
The Long View
The Fine Art of Gerrymandering
Drawn using sophisticated software tools, these and other Congressional district boundary maps were shaped with one specific goal in mind: partisan job security for the Congressman occupying the seat.  In fact, "gerrymandering"--the process of manipulating political boundaries for a political purpose--has been around since the early 19th century.  It is only over the last decade that it has been taken to the computer-driven extremes shown above reminiscent of Rorschach ink-blot tests! 
Our current system of single-seat Congressional districts naturally leads to gerrymandering.  Boundary lines often move--usually to ensure that the incumbent stays safe.  The vast majority of Congressional elections are not competitive.  In 2002 more than 80% of all members won by more than 20% of the vote.  Naturally, voters typically vote for candidates of their own party, so if the district lines are drawn to favor one candidate and party over another, that candidate is virtually assured victory.  Politicians have effectively pre-arranged the outcome--not voters!  Such a system is also called "winner takes all" because voters who win a simple 50% majority of the votes cast obtain 100% of the representation from that district, while the rest of the people receive no representation.  No matter your political party, if you don't happen to live in just the right place, it gets much harder to participate in self-governance!
Graphics are from Justice J. Stevens, minority opinion, Bush v. Vera, on appeals from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, June 13, 1996.