The Imbalance in State Representation

Gerrymandering within individual states in America is a problem that is always being looked at and scrutinized. Gerrymandering is manipulation of boundaries of districts in order to favor one political party in elections. Political parties look at gerrymandering as a way to wrap up votes and keep their districts representing the party they want. While gerrymandering is a problem, it is being talked about substantially and that is shedding light on it and allowing ideas to flow on how to stop it. However, a problem that is not talked about as much as gerrymandering within states is the imbalance in representation in Congress that exists between states. The disparity of congressional representatives for each state is severely imbalanced, an example of the imbalance is two states, separated by more than five hundred thousand people in populations, having the same number of representatives in Congress. They both have two senators, but in the House of Representatives, which allots members of Congress to represent states based on population, both states have one congressional representative, even though the population disparity is vast. Not only is there an imbalance in representation between states, there are also United States territories without representation, for example: Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. The fact that the nation’s capital and a territory with more than three million United States citizens do not have representation in Congress should not be a problem that America faces.

California has the most representatives in Congress with fifty-three, while Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Montana have only one representative. Although those five states combined still have thirty-five million less citizens than California, Georgia has more than two hundred thousand citizens than North Carolina, which is less than the five hundred thousand citizen disparity in Montana and Wyoming, yet Georgia has one more representative than North Carolina, while Montana and Wyoming each have one representative in Congress. This is unfair to states like Montana because it could have one more representative in Congress to help pass its personal legislature, but instead Georgia has an extra even though it has a narrower gap in population difference with the next state. Providing United States citizens with this kind of information is crucial because it fuels debate in unfairness of the situation which allows Congress to debate it and potentially reach a solution. A solution that could have been as simple as providing a quota. Population ranges could have been set and if a state’s population was between that range they would receive the same amount of representatives. However, since that would cause imbalance to the system already in place, Congress could subtract a few members from each state with a positive disparity and add them to the states with less representation. Less members for the bigger states and more for the smaller states, kept at a respectable amount that keeps the bigger states with more members in Congress, would help the imbalance in Congress. Smaller states would have more say, but bigger states will still have more power and the disparity in members is reduced.

A reason that an informed public is important is because they are the voice of the country and if they sparking up debate about an issue constantly, then that will force the representatives in Congress to listen. All it takes for Congress to create change is one leader that is attached to the people in his or her district that is willing to let their voices be heard. That representative or group of representatives that propose the bill and fight for it, could allow for the balance of members between states. In 1963 the 18th Census changed the number of members in Congress from four hundred and thirty-seven back to four hundred and thirty-five. This happened because in 1959 Alaska and Hawaii caused the number of representatives to increase and proves it is possible to have fluctuations in the members of the House of Representatives. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was not thought to have a good chance of passing at first, but as more representatives talked due to the controversial stir by the public, the bill was passed. A more informed public and more motivated representatives will help the issue of imbalance in congressional representation between states.

In 1959, Alaska and Hawaii were admitted into America as states, this is a relevant piece of information because it proves states can be added and Congress can adapt to it. Washington D.C. is the capital of the United States and has more than six hundred thousand residents which is more than Vermont and Wyoming, yet it has no congressional representation. Puerto Rico was acquired as a territory of the United States in 1898 and in 1917 the Jones-Shafroth Act was passed which granted United States citizenship to all residents of Puerto Rico. Puerto Rican’s can vote in primary elections and pay federal taxes to the United States, but it still has no representation in Congress. It is a country being asked to contribute to America in exchange for a minimal voice in American policies. Adding members of Congress for Puerto Rico would help include those citizens who work hard to benefit the United States and stop an imbalance in representation.

The imbalance between states in congressional representation is a problem that is not being debated enough. A more informed public and more determined representatives will help this problem become discussed and acted upon in a way to positively effect states and territories misrepresented. States with big disparities in populations can have that gap narrowed and Washington D.C., as well as Puerto Rico, which is an asset to the United States. There has been a shake up in the House of Representatives before and it has proven it can adapt.

This is my peer mentor Hanna and I after we sat down to talk more about her. Hanna was born in Cleveland, then moved to Pittsburgh where she became a Steelers fan. She came to Ohio State because she saw herself at OSU more than any other school she visited. She enjoys working with the professors at OSU and she is interested in public policy, while pursuing a job in that academic area or a job in a nonprofit organization while trying to make a change. In her free time, she likes to read, watch movies, and hang out with her friends, her favorite movies include Pulp Fiction and Pretty in Pink. She likes helping people out and that’s why she is a mentor in PSL.

Year in Review

[ “Year in Review”  is where you should reflect on the past year and show how you have evolved as a person and as a student.  You may want to focus on your growth in a particular area (as a leader, scholar, researcher, etc.) or you may want to talk about your overall experience over the past year.  For more guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email Delete these instructions and add your own post.]


Global Awareness

-First Year: Take a diversity class

-Graduation: Study abroad

Original Inquiry

-First Year: Find a passion to research

-Graduation: Work with a professor on a research project and finish it

Academic Enrichment

-First Year: Get a 4.0 GPA

-Graduation: Get accepted into Business School

Leadership Development

-First Year: Join a club

-Graduation: Be President of a club

Service Engagement

-First Year: Work with children at a school

-Graduation: Have 50 plus hours of volunteering


[“Career” is where you can collect information about your experiences and skills that will apply to your future career.  Like your resume, this is information that will evolve over time and should be continually updated.  For more guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email Delete these instructions and add your own post.]


This artifact is a picture of me in Washington D.C. by the Washington Monument, I have visited it many times due to my proximity to the area, but every visit is memorable. I enjoy learning about the history of America and this monument is a big part of that history. History interests me because I get to learn about the foundations of what created the world and how we got to where we are as a society. Without knowing the past, there would be no guiding tool for the future.

About Me


I’m Zach Reeder and I am a freshman at The Ohio State University, I was born in Haymarket, Virginia. Growing up, I invested a lot of time with people I value, such as my family and friends, and I hope to do the same thing throughout the rest of my life. In college I hope to achieve the highest academic grade point average and become involved in numerous clubs. Making a difference on campus and in the world is also a big goal for me. As a freshman in the Fisher College of Business, opportunities are at my disposal and I will use all of those opportunities to make a difference during the next four years and beyond. I have chosen a path of business due to my father’s career in business and hope to graduate with a specialization in finance. Finance is an area of interest and passion because it is a way to help people manage their money and life. With a great knowledge in finance, it is possible for early retirement and allows for more financial freedom in life. A job as a financial analyst is the field of interest for me at any financial firm or sports organization. As a part of the Columbus community I hope to help the children of the community grow up to be well rounded adults. Volunteering with children at local schools is an interest of mine because they are the future of this city and country. I feel like a part of the sports community at Ohio State and Columbus is a great city to help me thrive in that community. Sports are a big part of my life and help people come together, it is an area that I would love to have a finance job in and I hope to explore those options. I am looking forward to everything Ohio State has to offer these next four years.