Last week, Supreme Court decided that they’ll stay out of gerrymandering disputes – effectively greenlighting partisan gerrymandering.
What is gerrymandering?
Here’s a video that explains what it is in under 3mins but if you don’t feel like clicking it, it basically means slicing up voting districts in a way that benefits one political party over the other – one of the main reasons voters get fucked over and not get their voices heard proportionately.
Why the weird name? Because in the early 19th century, a politician named Elbridge Gerry drew a salamander-looking district map to tweak the election results.
Redrawing the map happens generally once every 10 years to reflect the demo changes based on census results. Trump recently tried to add some trick questions to the upcoming census to make it work for the Republicans but in a weak and weird attempt to achieve artificial fairness, Supreme Court shut down the admin’s plan last week.
What does SC’s decision mean?
In 2016 in North Carolina, Republican state representative David Lewis redrew the map because, we’re quoting the guy verbatim, he thinks “electing Republicans is better than electing Democrats”. Thanks to his dirty tactics, Republicans won 10 out of the state’s 13 districts even though Republicans took just 53% of the statewide vote.
Last week’s decision means, SC will not intervene when shit like this happens. Republicans are hard at work trying to skew the map, though. A recent discovery of a database that belonged to a deceased Republican redistricting expert Tom Hofeller revealed more than 75,000 files containing his efforts to slice the voting maps to Repub’s favor in states like NC, Alabama, Massachusetts, Texas, and Virginia.
How do we stop it?
WaPo released a research today that getting independent commissions to watch over redistricting could prevent partisan gerrymandering. The question is, will Republicans let that happen? The answer is, you guessed it, no.
last year, Missouri voters approved a nonpartisan state demographer with redistricting — but Republican legislators are suing to block it from going into effect. Similarly, last fall, Michigan voted for an independent redistricting commission — but in a lame-duck session, lawmakers passed new laws that would constrain the commission’s power.