Will Newsom Make Voting Rights History or Follow DeSantis’ Anti-Voter Lead?

SACRAMENTO – Two historic, companion redistricting reform bills recently passed the California State Legislature and now sit on Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk. As the groundbreaking bills await a signature or a veto, across the country, Common Cause Florida heads to federal court to challenge Governor Ron DeSantis’ rigged voting maps, arguing that his administration engaged in intentional racial discrimination against Black Floridians. The opposing coasts paint a starkly contrasted portrait of the state of our nation’s voting rights, which reach a critical juncture ahead of another monumental election year.

Statement of Jonathan Mehta Stein, executive director of California Common Cause:

“Governor Newsom has a chance to make voting rights history. If he signs AB 764 and AB 1248, California would become the first state in the nation to make independent redistricting commissions — now proven to be the gold standard for defeating gerrymandering — commonplace in local governments.

As Governor DeSantis heads to court today to defend his rigged voting maps, we are seeing in real time what redistricting has come to in Florida. When the politicians are in charge, the voters lose, particularly voters of color. 

DeSantis’ blatant disenfranchisement of Black voters represents the worst of gerrymandering nationwide. And now, with proven, broadly-supported anti-gerrymandering solutions on his desk, Governor Newsom has the opportunity to demonstrate that California is leading the way in the opposite direction, protecting and strengthening our right to vote. 

Governor Newsom has the chance to make California a nationwide leader on pro-democracy reform yet again. He can put us on a brighter path to a stronger, healthier democracy, one that puts power where it belongs—in the hands of the people. Will Governor Newsom show the nation the right way forward?”