On "Safe" Congressional Seats


This letter to the editor was published in the Star Tribune on 5/5/2021.

Dear Star Tribune;

 

I enjoyed reading the opinion piece about congressional "safe seats".  All too often we allow incumbents to insulate themselves from electoral competition.  Gerrymandered districts and harsh ballot access laws are probably the two most obvious examples.

Another possible solution to gerrymandering districts, which was not discussed, would be to have adopted some form of proportional representation.  In theory, Minnesota could become one large, multi-member district, with seats awarded to a party based on the percentage of the votes cast.

 

Yes, Congress would have to approve proportional representation in multi-member congressional elections - I believe that Congress banned the practice in the 1960s - but it would certainly make for more competitive elections.

 

Edward TJ Brown

Parkers Prairie, MN