NDRC: As Redistricting Gets Underway, Fair Maps Must Reflect Each State’s Diversity, Geography, and Voters
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Washington, DC – Following today’s release of population data by the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC) is calling for map drawers in all 50 states to host transparent redistricting processes and pass congressional and state legislative maps that fairly and accurately represent the growing and diverse populations of each state.
The new data, which enables map drawers to earnestly begin the mapping process, is expected to be used by Republican-controlled state legislatures to gerrymander their party to power in Congress and state capitals across the country, or as they say, “secure a decade of power” – illegitimate and unrepresentative power.
“The Census data clearly demonstrates that the country is getting younger and more diverse and is increasingly concentrated in urban and suburban areas. That rightfully scares Republicans, and this fear will lead them to gerrymander the country along partisan and racial lines in an attempt to hold on to power. That’s not just wrong, it’s at odds with the basic premise of our democracy,” said NDRC President Kelly Burton. “We are fighting for fair maps that reflect the will of the voters, and if Republicans attempt to gerrymander their way to power, we will be ready to take legal action.”
In states across the country, NDRC and its affiliates and allies are actively defining what fair maps should look like and holding map-drawers accountable to draw maps accordingly. A fair map comes from an inclusive process, a transparent process, is representative of the state as a whole, and is responsive to the will of the people. American voters overwhelmingly want fair maps, with a recent polling showing 82% of Americans, including 71% of Republicans, support ending partisan gerrymandering.
The maps drawn this year will shape the next decade of politics in America. There should be enough competitive seats that the House majority is in play for both parties — a reflection of the partisan makeup of the country as a whole.
Even in states that are political toss ups, gerrymandered districts drawn with surgical precision, packing some voters together and splitting other communities apart, have created congressional delegations and legislatures that are heavily skewed toward the Republicans and immune to accountability. No matter who the candidates are, how much organizing is done, or how much money is spent the outcome is always the same.
“We saw the damaging effects of gerrymandering throughout the last decade, with districts that were not responsive to the voters and legislative bodies that were dramatically out of step with the American people,” continued Burton. “Success means stopping the Republicans from gerrymandering themselves into artificial majorities in Congress and state legislatures, and instead building districts that are responsive to the will of the voters. In other words, success is protecting our democracy.”