Every election cycle, millions of dollars are spent on political ads, debates, rallies and photo-ops – all designed to influence our votes. Yet what really matters in the long run might be something much less exciting than image and personality. It’s the time-honored bit of political cartography called redistricting. A process that plays out in the back rooms of state legislatures, far from the cameras, redistricting is critical to the way our country is run.While media and political junkies follow candidates’ every move and statement, the real action is happening out of the public eye. Congressional districts are being redrawn and some of the most familiar members of Congress risk losing their seats before a vote is even cast. But the state of California is blazing new ground with a radical approach to statewide redistricting. Need to Know’s Mona Iskander speaks with redistricting expert David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report to help put that new plan into context.
Need to Know is a production of Creative News Group (CNG) in association with WNET. Marc Rosenwasser is Executive Producer. Need to Know is made possible by Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Mutual of America, Citi Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Foundation, Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS.