Roberts concluded that they were asking the court to impose proportional representation in U.S. elections, which the Constitution neither denies nor requires. “The founders certainly didn’t think proportional representation was necessary,” he wrote. “For more than 50 years after the ratification of the Constitution, many states elected their representatives to Congress through general or ‘general’ elections. These states usually sent one-party delegations to Congress. This meant that a party could garner nearly half of the statewide vote and end up without a seat in the congressional delegation. “
As you can imagine, general elections were not a tenable situation for voters at the time, especially as the right to vote increased at the start of the republic. It was not until the middle of the 19th century that Congress put an end to this practice. “The Alabama Whigs suffered this fate in 1840: ‘their party garnered 43% of the statewide vote, but did not receive a single seat,'” Roberts wrote, citing an academic account. On the question. “When Congress demanded single-member districts in the Income Distribution Act of 1842, it was not out of general concern for fairness, but rather out of (miscalculation) of the Whigs that such a change would improve their electoral prospects. . ” Single-member districts have become the norm in U.S. elections, and other laws of Congress have effectively mandated them.
Single-member ridings have some advantages, including a measure of geographic representation. But these advantages are increasingly overshadowed by their disadvantages. Even in states without aggressive partisan gerrymandering, single-member districts exclude hundreds of thousands of Americans from direct representation. California Republicans are expected, by virtue of their numbers, to receive a handful more House seats than they get each year. The same can be said for Democrats in Texas or Republicans in New York or Democrats in Florida.
Even beyond these innate problems, however, the single-member constituency system is much more conducive to manipulation through gerrymandering. Unless there is a massive partisan shift one way or the other, the most influential factor in the next parliamentary election will likely be the partisan cards. Since gerrymandering reforms are more common in blue and purple states, Republicans have much more control over the next House maps than Democrats, with full GOP control in 20 states versus full Democratic control. in eight states. It is quite possible that the majority of the House is decided less by politicians and personalities and more by brutal procedural force.