The National Democratic Redistricting Committee, chaired by the 82nd Attorney General of the United States, Eric H. Holder, Jr., is the first-ever strategic hub for a comprehensive redistricting strategy. Together, we will rebuild a democracy where voters pick their politicians—not the other way around.
The system is broken. The fight to fix it is now.
There’s no other way to put it: in 2011, Republicans gerrymandered the country more aggressively than at any other time in our history. The result? Your vote might not count the way you think it does.
It’s wrong—and we’re going to fix it.
Our Comprehensive Approach
Since our launch in 2017, NDRC has leveled the playing field on redistricting in three major ways: backing litigation, supporting reforms, and electing fair-map Democrats. As a result of our work, Democrats are in a significantly stronger position going into the 2021 redistricting process than they were 10 years ago.
We’ve helped set legal precedents for fair maps, shifted the balance of power in battleground states where Republicans had total control of the process and, significantly, supported reforms that resulted in a plurality of congressional districts that will be drawn by independent commissions or under significant reform measures.
But our work isn’t done. Over the next few months, the NDRC will execute a three-part, comprehensive plan tailored to the redistricting landscape in our target states to achieve fair maps:
MobilizationWe’re executing an aggressive national effort to demand fair maps and transparency in every state. This includes pushing for the passage of the For the People Act (HR1) and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (HR4) at the national level. The For the People Act will explicitly outlaw partisan gerrymandering at the federal level, and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act will help to mitigate the damage done in 2013 when the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in the disastrous Shelby County decision. Our democracy needs both of these bills to safeguard voting rights and fair districts for all Americans.
At the state level, NDRC’s 501(c)(4) affiliate organization, the National Redistricting Action Fund, and its grassroots campaign, All On The Line, have mobilized thousands of volunteers across the country who are ready to get involved in the redistricting fight. All On The Line has staff on the ground in nine target states working with volunteers and local advocacy groups to facilitate testimony, educate citizens about the process, and put pressure on lawmakers throughout the process.
LitigationSince our launch, NDRC and our affiliate organizations have successfully backed challenges to gerrymandered maps in Virginia and North Carolina, and courts have similarly overturned bad maps in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Florida, setting precedent for fair maps in key redistricting battlegrounds.
AccountabilityWe’re putting politicians on notice: We’re paying attention to how they handle redistricting, and we expect fair maps. Politicians who try to gerrymander the maps or prevent public input will be held accountable at the ballot box in 2022.
How did we get here?
In 2010, Republicans rode a midterm wave into power, winning state legislative and gubernatorial elections around the country. That gave them disproportional control over the nation’s redistricting process—where state leaders redraw congressional and state legislative lines following the national census, which is conducted every 10 years in years ending in zero to ensure electoral districts include roughly the same number of people.
In state after state, Republican legislatures and governors used this power over the process to entrench Republican majorities and diminish the voting impact of Democrats and communities of color.
The result was immediate: in 2012, 1.4 million more Americans voted for Democrats for Congress, but Republicans won a 33-seat majority in Congress. And the problem hasn’t gotten better. In 2016, despite winning fewer than half of all votes for Congress, Republicans again won a 33-seat majority. In battleground states like Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Ohio, Michigan, and Virginia, the make-up of state legislatures are wildly different than the voting population.
These gerrymandered districts have had disastrous policy consequences, leading to some of the most right-wing legislation in decades both in Congress and at the state level, including assaults on women’s health, failing to address climate change, and refusing to stand up to the epidemic of gun violence. Now, politicians from gerrymandered districts are pushing through voter suppression bills at the state level to keep themselves in power by making it harder for young voters, urban voters, and voters of color to participate in our democracy.
Republicans plan to manipulate the redistricting process and gerrymander themselves into an illegitimate majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. We are going to stop them.