Overheard on CNN.com: Gerrymandering in American politics
An 1812 cartoon described as a "Gerrymander" lampoons a legislative district drawn by Massachusetts Gov. Elbridge Gerry.
November 18th, 2011
12:57 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Gerrymandering in American politics

Editor's note: Readers have a lot to say about stories, and we're listening. Overheard on CNN.com is a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

"Even if your vote counts, it comes down to which corrupt one do you want in office. Politics has become so dirty that there is no way the people can win. "
–TerryH13

CNN is taking a look at the redistricting process, which takes place every 10 years after each census is complete. In the last 10 years, 78% of the seats in the U.S. House of Representatives did not change party hands even once.

David Wasserman, redistricting expert for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, says that through redistricting elections can be "almost rigged" in a sense and this can lead to a more polarized Congress. Readers responded to this story by expressing a degree of cynicism about the political process on both sides of the aisle. Some even questioned whether they should vote at all.

Why your vote for Congress might not matter

Commenters largely said politicians are influenced too much by money.

"Republican or Democrat? The candidates we get to choose from at election time are all rich, hand picked and sponsored by special interest and or corporate America," said str8Vision. "Like race-car drivers, politicians should wear uniforms adorned with logos and patches of the corporations, special interest groups and lobbyist who sponsor them."

FrankinSD replied, "What makes you think changing the faces will change the system?" He also said in a different post, "The creation of safe districts does more than just diminish the power of individual voters. It removes the incentive for the parties to nominate someone in the political center. If a seat is safely Democratic or Republican, there is no penalty for nominating an extremist."

BilyGoatGruf wrote, "I live in one of the most gerrymandered districts in the U.S.! it sucks cause I'm the minority party. My area does have quite a few people like me, but we're just used to bridge two strongholds for the opposing party. But I still vote!"

Others said they didn't feel like they want to vote. "I know I am back to feeling disenfranchised again and this article will support my new decision not to vote," said, ComeOnMan9. "Our election process is broken and money seems to be at the core of all decisions made."

glorydays responded, "Then the plutocrats have won. They want you to stay home."

vixis said:

"This is why I don't vote. It's a waste of time. Candidates win by the most money they have or who pads their pockets, at one time voting meant something but not anymore. No one cares what the taxpayers think, this is why I say we need to stop paying taxes. This will be the only way they will listen, money talks ... right!"

Some commenters wanted to stress that voting is important. bzzarr said:

"How could any American come to the conclusion that he/she wasn't going to vote? After all this country has been through, and all it has accomplished in less than 250 years. How can you just give up, shake your head, and walk away? We have out-done countries that have existed for hundreds, and in some cases thousands of years longer, in a matter of those 240 years. We owe it to our forefathers, we owe it to ourselves, we owe it to our children, and most of all we owe it to our nation. We must continue to fight to make this country stronger. Its the people who have made this country what it is not the politicians.

What's your take? Join the conversation below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Or, sound off on video via CNN iReport.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

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Filed under: Congress • Elections • Overheard on CNN.com • Politics
soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. chrissy

    @ bigwillie, we are in total agreement, you and i AGAIN! lol

    November 18, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bigwilliestyles

    @ Chrissy: allowing the inner characters that make us human shine through on the outside, rather than hiding behind a facade of "elitism" (read pretentiousness) or "going hard" (read 'cyber gangster') is what separates the adults who grew up, from the ones that just grew old. Great minds think alike lol.

    November 18, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. chrissy

    lmao ty dont know that im great but i sure as hell am opinionated!

    November 18, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. chrissy

    and @ gung hoe plz dont be mad i said it wasnt personal and as Joey once told me, we dont always have to agree! 🙂

    November 18, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. bigwilliestyles

    @ Chrissy: opinionated people are the catalyst for change. The opposite of that are those that just accept whatever, right or wrong. If it wasn't for that white person who looked at chattel slavery and said "hey, that's not right", freedom for slaves would have been a much longer process (but still would have happened). Stay just the way you are; real people appreciate you.

    November 18, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. chrissy

    aww ty now i feel better! My opinions AND loyalty were getting me in trouble earlier as you may have noticed already lmao

    November 18, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. banasy©

    @chrissy:
    Stay true to your convictions and beliefs, and you'll never go wrong.
    BWStyles is right, I appreciate you.
    Your heart is *fierce*, sweetie!

    November 18, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. gung hoe

    @chrissie Mad no had to recharge dam batteries then fell asleep,shouldve said something sorry!But hey Im going chk out other threads

    November 18, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. WOT

    There needs to be a new congress, with all those old men outed. The main reason for no change,They are living in yesterday! I am 65+, so I know what it takes. There are to, too many old bigots that are set in their ways both Black and White!

    November 18, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. chrissy

    @ wot, youre young to me, at heart anyway! But very true statement, NOT because they are too old to do the job but because they are stuck too much in the old way of doing it! There should be a term limit the same as President.

    November 18, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. gung hoe

    Ya anybody interested cnn is having a show on this subject sunday night just saying for those who havnt had enough of this subject!

    November 19, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. bigwilliestyles

    Democracy (and a free press) is long gone from this place. This is a military/industrial complex propped up by a police state. And for you 'move somewhere else' clowns, two things: 1. I do not plan on turning our country over to military/corporate criminals, and I can't, for the life of me, see why you want to just bend over and take where it hurts the most; 2. If it continues on this path of 'wealth/political consolidation, the end product will be far worse than China, Iran or any other of the countries that the press uses as a boogie man, so what's the point of moving?

    November 19, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. tif31

    ?

    November 20, 2011 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
  14. raven

    Who is Gerry? And who is he mandering? I always wanted to mander but I have two left feet .

    November 20, 2011 at 2:06 am | Report abuse |
  15. bigwilliestyles

    @ Raven: lol.

    November 20, 2011 at 3:28 am | Report abuse |
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