In Response to: Math Versus Politics

To get rid of gerrymandering (feature, Oct. 4), abolish voting districts!

Gerrymandering is at the root of the domination of American politics by the extremes of Right and Left. With the real choice made by party activists in the primaries, the sensible voter in the center is left at the election without a viable choice and is in essence disenfranchised. The centrist nonpartisan majority is consistently identified in polls, but is not represented in Washington: It is politically silenced. That is undemocratic.

Even depoliticized redistricting, such as that pioneered by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in California and supported by Dr. Sam Wang’s models, will not cure the problem. As people of like minds tend to live in the same areas, “safe” seats will endure and party ideologues will continue to dominate the nomination process.

In this age of social media, electoral districts are obsolete. Champions of particular causes, from gay rights to balanced budgets, can and should mobilize their constituencies, wherever in a state they may live. Without districts, the two Senate candidates with the most votes and however many representatives the state is entitled to by the latest census would go to Washington in a first-past-the-post system. Simple, clear, sensible, incorruptible.

This would be true and effective democracy for America.

James Cunningham ’73
Basel, Switzerland