Over the last decade you may have heard the term gerrymandering thrown around. It refers to the process where legislators draw up heavily partisan districts for their states that often result in them getting a majority of the vote.
According to NBC News the process is set to be front and center during state elections in 2020, particularly in states in the south. You may be thinking why should I care? Well, over the last decade the process has overwhelmingly benefited Republican lawmakers. In 2010 they were in control of the process and drew up maps that more often than not, minimized the black vote. The Supreme Court has refused to outlaw partisan gerrymandering and after dismantling the Voting Rights Act in 2013, removed the requirement for states known for racial discrimination to have their redistricting maps approved by the Department of Justice. With no legal precedent barring the process, it can be assumed that Republican lawmakers will fully take advantage of the lack of accountability this time around.
Gerrymandering is an inherently undemocratic process no matter which way you cut it. Luckily,there are forces actively fighting against it. Former Attorney General Eric Holder has formed the National Democratic Redistricting Commission to help battle this process. Their goal is to ensure that lawmakers across the aisle craft non-partisan districts. In states like Colorado, New York and Utah there have already been reforms to the redistricting process to make it more bi-partisan. In Ohio, a referendum was passed by voters that required bi-partisan approval for any new redistricting plans. If the parties can’t agree, a bipartisan commission would be brought on to create new districts.
If you live in any states below the Mason-Dixon I implore you to vote next year in your local elections. It’s what we all should be doing anyway but the reason clowns like Jim Jordan obtain power is because they have heavily lopsided districts. Your vote next year may just ensure that has less of a chance to happen.