Nuts & Bolts: What if… we could we redistrict in our favor?

Returning things to proper order is not a gerrymander.

There is an assumption that any redistricting plan that ends up with Republicans losing more seats than Democratic opportunities in a Democratic-run state is a gerrymander. Republicans never, not a single time, will question this about their own states. You will not see a state like mine, Kansas, wonder why they are working so hard to come up with a map that drives Sharice Davids out of office. It’s their right, they will contend.

Democratic-run states have long sought to be non-partisan and fair in redrawing districts. There is a problem with that, however. The problem is that, in many ways, the 2010 redistricting created significant problems, and the movement of population within a state means that to correct for past sins, there will be changes.

What is really a gerrymander and how do we break them?

As I noted, Kansas Republicans made it clear that when they draw maps they have one goal, that being to find a way to defeat Sharice Davids. Some of the plans have included moving the most diverse voting districts in the state outside of her congressional district. Methodologies like this use a plan that breaks apart voting opportunities, fractures communities, and is targeted. 

In 2010, quite a bit of this occurred. Unfortunately, even in bipartisan districting committees, many statehouse members can become more concerned over protecting their statehouse race instead of what the plan does to congressional officeholders or even members of their own party elsewhere. 

In order to break these, we have to acknowledge the fact that so many still exist from 2010 that we must acknowledge them and work hard to correct them. Unfortunately, in some states, we will create new gerrymanders in Republican states that will sit for the next decade. In other states, we have the opportunity to undo past sins. We should take this opportunity to do exactly that, and enable voters to be heard effectively.

Voters pick representatives, not the other way around.

 Recognizing this system means that when we coordinate a district, we work to find common bonds that unite voters to build a district. This is a way to get everyone involved and make sure that they are participating in the process. Shattering a traditionally Black community to dilute it is wrong, correcting it is a solution. If there is a common bond on state watershed recipients or access to the shore, fine. 

Daily Kos Elections and Democratic Rep. Raskin see it the same way:

Maryland will end up with a 7-1 potential representation; they could have had an 8-0. 

Fighting for redistricting that protects the Democratic majority by turning back horrific plans elsewhere with reasonable, open plans that provide people real representation? It shouldn’t be a What If.. it should be a “Must do”.

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