Many voters know that gerrymandering (extreme partisan redistricting) poses a threat to the integrity of our elections. By marginalizing large blocks of Republican, Democratic and Independent voters, it breeds mistrust, disfunction and public policies that don’t reflect actual majority desires. The two tracks toward gerrymandering reform include ballot initiatives and litigation. The following addresses both of these options.
Ballot Initiatives to Address Gerrymandering Reform
One approach to address gerrymandering is through state ballot initiatives. In fact, this was successful in 2018. All five states with anti-gerrymandering initiatives on the ballot passed gerrymandering reform. Analysis shows that the counties that voted for President Trump by more than 25 points also supported these initiatives. This demonstrates that these election reforms have deep nonpartisan support.
Gerrymandering Reform through Litigation
However, ballot initiatives are not an option in 25 states. The only opportunity to address gerrymandering nationally is through the courts.
In 2018, the Supreme Court refused to address the issue. They sent several cases (including Wisconsin) back to the lower courts. However, the Supreme Court did provide a roadmap for how a partisan gerrymandering lawsuit might be successful.
The Supreme Court recently announced it will hear arguments in the latest case out of North Carolina in March, one of the most severe cases of extreme partisan gerrymandering in American history. If the court rules that the states maps are unconstitutional, we would finally curtail the practice of gerrymandering nationwide ahead of the 2020 elections and the redrawing of districts after the census.
Learn more about Gerrymandering and the Supreme Court. Check out these resources from the Brennan Center for Justice
Is There a Way to Get Involved?
How can you get involved to help gerrymandering reform? You can donate to the Change The Rules. As a non-partisan, non profit, we channel contributions to reform organizations like the Campaign Legal Center that play a vital role in the areas of redistricting, campaign finance, ethics and voting rights.
To find out what other organization are in our reform portfolio, visit our website.