Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan To Steal America's Democracy

Liveright: Norton. Jun. 2016. 256p. maps. notes. index. ISBN 9781631491627. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781631491634. POL SCI
The 2010 election cycle was far more consequential than either of the previous two presidential races. The Republican Party, whose candidates took over 26 state legislatures and 29 state governorships that year, gained not only the power to pass laws and write budgets as they saw fit but also nabbed the real prize—the ability to redraw their states' legislative district lines. This power, ostensibly to assure proportional representation in an evolving population, has been so thoroughly taken over by partisanship and high-tech gerrymandering that, according to Daley (editor in chief, Salon), legislators have ever greater sovereignty to pick their own voters. Daley takes a hard look at the most recent district reshuffling and places it into historical context. He examines the realignment process in several states, primarily ones with a nearly evenly divided electorate that tipped just to the right in the 2010 midterm elections, and finds the myriad ways state legislators (or supposedly nonpartisan boards) used inside baseball and advanced mapping software to carve out districts favoring Republican legislators.
VERDICT Liberal readers will find much to chew on in this book, an early warning to prepare for the next round of redistricting. [See Prepub Alert, 1/4/16.]
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