The Republicans have been able to win far more seats, at both the congressional and state level, than the partisan vote totals would suggest because of their successful gerrymandering effort. The Democrats have fought back in a variety of ways but the question is: Are we turning the tide back towards the Democrats?
For a quick primer on gerrymandering, read: Let’s Talk about Gerrymandering
Between the gerrymandering cases that are working their way through the U.S. Supreme Court, court wins at the state level like in Pennsylvania, the creation of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, and the number of bills introduced at the state level to combat gerrymandering, it certainly seems like we have a lot of momentum in the right direction.
I keep tabs on the voting rights bills and the voting restriction bills at the state level by reading the Brennan Center reports. Until this year, it seemed like there were more restrictive bills than expansive bills, but now, looking at their latest voting rights recap which features these images below, it looks like the momentum and energy is on our side.
I know you hear the “but” coming.
Of course, we both know the Republicans aren’t going to give up their advantage without a fight. And sure enough, they are fighting. I highly recommend the article Republicans Make Moves to Crush Gerrymandering Reform by Allegra Kirkland writing for Talking Points Memo
Here’s the opener:
With anti-gerrymandering efforts gaining steam, Republicans in some states are mobilizing to protect their ability to continue rigging election maps.
It is critically important to be aware of what the Republicans are doing. Outside of the court cases, anything working its way through the state legislature is something we as citizens can get involved in and apply pressure. Your advocacy around gerrymandering is critical right now. Keep your eyes open in your state.