Vote Thieves: Ilegal Immigration, Redistricting, and Presidential Elections
“Once in a while there is a book that hits you in the face and forces you to question accepted assumptions. This is exactly the book Orlando Rodriguez has written...His perspective forces us to think twice about whether accepted practices have led to empowering our community and our elected officials...After reading the Rodriguez arguments, the political election process is seen from a totally different perspective.”
-- Estela Lόpez, in The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine
Book Review for Vote Thieves at Being Latino Online Magazine
"The beautiful truth of this book is that Orlando Rodriguez does give us a solution that can make America a more perfect union." -- Eric Jude Cortes, Being Latino Online Magazine
“After the many decades of struggle and the millions of dollars expended to defend minority voting rights, along comes Orlando Rodriguez with a somewhat counterintuitive notion that can very well reverse the sad chronicle of disenfranchisement in America. Rodriguez makes a very compelling argument. Voter-based apportionment and elimination of the Electoral College would develop America into a true participatory democracy.”
-- Luis C. Cabán, board member, United States Hispanic Leadership Institute
“Vote Thieves provides a provocative and nuanced account of the history of the relationship between immigration and congressional apportionment in the United States. Orlando Rodriguez offers an important and original argument for a new way of redistricting and calculating congressional apportionments based on voter counts. His book challenges traditional conceptions of representative democracy and promises to open the door for new debates over the nature of national representation and apportionment.”
-- Charles R. Venator-Santiago, assistant professor, Department of Political Science and the Institute of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies, University of Connecticut
Every ten years political representation in the U.S. House of Representatives is redistributed (reapportioned) among the fifty states. The process began anew with the decennial census in April 2010. Since 1989, six congressional bills have attempted to change the population basis of apportionment -- none passed. Currently under review in Congress, House Joint Resolution 11 would amend the Constitution to include only citizens in the apportionment base. The 2008 presidential platform of the Republican Party included a similar call to change the apportionment basis to only citizens. Against this backdrop of current events there is a more fundamental and momentous issue. What have been the social and political consequences of our current method of apportionment?
Vote Thieves tells how our current method of apportionment fosters illegal immigration, polarizes the political parties, and encouraged the disenfranchisement of thousands of Floridians in the 2000 presidential election. Women in the U.S. did not obtain voting rights until 1920 because of apportionment. African Americans in the South suffered through slavery and segregation because of apportionment. Thousands of Native Americans died while being forcibly expelled from the Southeast because of apportionment.
After 2010 reapportionment, the U.S. House of Representatives is the most imbalanced it has been since 1870. The three most populous states will hold over one-fourth of all seats. The five most populous states will hold over one-third of all seats. In 1788, founding father James Madison wrote that the control of Congress by a few high population states was to be avoided. Are we now at that point? Has Madison’s warning been heeded?
Vote Thieves is based on indisputable facts. In 1787 and 1788, we were warned by the framers that there was a flaw in the Constitution. The flaw is congressional apportionment.