In the year 2021, one of the most corrupt practices politicians use to grab power continues to thrive: gerrymandering. In our country, both democrats and republicans can (and often do) draw their own voting districts to manipulate the results of elections. While in Minnesota, we are luckily less affected by gerrymandering, we need to ensure this corrupt practice is prevented in our nation as a whole. Our neighbors in Wisconsin, for example, suffer from an intentional redistricting in 2011 that will give one party unfair control of the state for decades. In many other states, politicians continue to draw awkward and squiggled districts so their party will continue to get reelected. Try Googling “gerrymandering in Maryland” and the absurd shapes of the congressional districts will show you how big of a problem gerrymandering is!

The foul practice of gerrymandering has been neglected for far too long. Luckily, the For the People Act, which the U.S. Senate will soon vote on, would put an end to partisan gerrymandering from both parties. It will instead require states to use independent commissions to draw district lines. This should have been required all along, but now we have a chance to get it done. To prevent the corrupt power grabs that occur through gerrymandering, I am calling on our Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith to prioritize passing the For the People Act. Eliminating gerrymandering is a key step in supporting our democracy.

Simon Kennel, Rochester

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