Every election is important, but some elections carry additional weight. 2020 will be one of those years.
And I’m not even talking about the White House or the Senate today. No, the reason why 2020 is so important is because it’s a census year, meaning that all of the House and state legislature districts need to be redrawn to reflect the demographic changes of the previous decade.
As great as the Democrats did in 2018–flipping state chambers and winning governorships–we’re still far behind in gaining control of redistricting.
Stephen Wolf, who writes all of the terrific voting rights posts for the Daily Kos, just published a super-detailed look at where things stand with redistricting. He concludes that even with all the 2018 wins, if redistricting happened today, the Democrats would only control a touch over 10% of the redistricting while the Republicans would control nearly 40% of it.
Here’s how he mapped out each state’s control over redistricting if the redrawing of the maps were to happen right now:
Yikes. The good news, however, is that we have the 2019 and 2020 elections ahead of us. Winning key races will be crucial to making sure we have much more control over redistricting in 2020.
What can we do?
The first thing I want you to do, is to go to Wolf’s article where he outlines how redistricting happens for every state — yes, he did every state! — and review how YOUR state tackles redistricting. Each state’s short blurb reviews 1) the current partisan control, 2) which institution is responsible for redistricting, and 3) the current outlook. You can find his state-by-state redistricting guide HERE.
Remember, breaking total Republican control can be achieved in multiple ways. It could be flipping either the state House or the Senate, it could be winning the governorship, it could be flipping a state Supreme Court seat, etc. The point is not allowing the Republicans total and absolute control of the process.
Next, if you live in one of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee’s target 2019-2020 states (or you want to help one of those states), go their website and learn what actions they are taking to combat Republican control of redistricting. There is likely something you can do to help!
Otherwise, working to flip all levels of state and federal seats in your own state is always an option! Stay on top of the latest candidates for your state by using Ballotpedia or your state’s election website, and then roll up your sleeves and get to work. Every vote counts!
Thank you for taking action.
Gerrymandering is a scourge on democracy. But it’s beatable.
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