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Associated Press: Slow population growth costs Ohio a House seat, census shows

Catherine Turcer, executive director of Common Cause Ohio, said the new rules Ohio voters have approved will require districts to be more compact — by keeping counties and municipalities whole, among other things — and will make districts more competitive. “One of the things we know we won’t have is ‘the snake on the lake,’” she said, referring to Ohio’s 9th District, which strings along Lake Erie to merge the distant cities of Toledo and Cleveland, both heavily Democratic. That’s a gerrymandering tactic that merges areas where one party dominates, no matter how distant they might be, into the same district as a way to dilute their voters’ political power when electing members of Congress or the state legislature. Eliminating that level of manipulation will mean both Republican and Democratic incumbents could see tougher contests next fall, Turcer said.

Miami Herald/McClatchy: Florida gains one U.S. House seat after 2020 Census results are released

Dan Vicuna, the national redistricting manager with Common Cause, one of the groups that helped draw Florida’s current congressional map, said Florida has more time than other states to draw new boundaries despite Census delays caused by COVID-19. “We’ll be keeping a watchful eye on whether the process is fair and transparent as required,” Vicuna said, adding that some states will face a deadline crunch to draw districts in time for the next election, “but fortunately Florida is not one of them.” “There’s plenty of time for robust public participation,” Vicuna said.

Associated Press: Population growth gives North Carolina a 14th US House seat

“In order to avoid illegal map-rigging, the redistricting process in 2021 must be transparent, nonpartisan and include robust public input — and be completely free from gerrymandering,” Common Cause North Carolina Executive Director Bob Phillips said in a news release after Monday’s announcement. Common Cause was a plaintiff in both federal and state partisan gerrymandering lawsuits in the 2010s.

Spotlight PA/Philadelphia Inquirer: Pennsylvania will lose a U.S. House seat after redistricting

“If anything, the climate is more tense now than it was 10 years ago,” said Khalif Ali, executive director of the good-government group Common Cause Pennsylvania. “Once again, I anticipate districts that don’t really reflect registered voters and the people of Pennsylvania, and I also expect a veto from Gov. Wolf and then onto the Supreme Court.” For those reasons, and more, Ali said it’s important for Pennsylvania to adopt an independent commission to helm the state’s redistricting process — a long-sought change by advocates that has failed to gain necessary traction in Harrisburg. “I think we have to take the politics out of it,” Ali said. “I think a lot of what we do is eating away at the integrity of democracy, and if we continue doing it, I don’t think we can expect people to participate.”

Census Apportionment Totals Released, Sets Redistricting Cycle in Motion

Today, the Census Bureau released apportionment data, which determines the number of representatives in the House of Representatives for each state and the Electoral College. Undoubtedly, this census endured unprecedented challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted, delayed, or canceled virtually every census operation. This was exacerbated by the political interference from the previous administration, including attempts to add an untested, eleventh-hour citizenship question to the census form and unconstitutionally exclude noncitizens from the apportionment totals.

Chicago Tribune: Democrats may use population estimates for redistricting, raising questions about fairness of maps

“Those are the people I feel have been dishonored by the path that the Illinois General Assembly has now chosen,” said Jay Young, executive director of Common Cause Illinois. “It should be the job of our elected officials to sort of recognize that this challenge exists, to recognize that they’re not going to be able to draw the district lines with any degree of specificity, they’re not going to be able to draw equal districts.”

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