Yahoo News: ‘A state by state fight’: Legal battles over redistricting maps continue into the new year
Yahoo News: 'A state by state fight': Legal battles over redistricting maps continue into the new year
Every 10 years, political lines are redrawn across the country based on the U.S Census Bureau data, typically by state lawmakers, leading to a host of legal battles over the new maps.
The 2020 census data was released in 2021 after a months-long delay due to the pandemic. By the end of 2022, every state had a new congressional map, but legal challenges to the redrawn districts, some of which allege discrimination against people of color, have continued into the new year.
“It’s a state by state fight,” Dan Vicuna, the national redistricting manager of Common Cause, a voting rights organization, told Yahoo News. “In this country, there’s a long history of using the redistricting process to discriminate against people of color or to discriminate against voters of one party.” …
According to voting rights advocates, a wave of racial gerrymandering is impacting maps across the country. The 2020 U.S Census Bureau reported that the overall racial diversity of the United States increased since 2010, and the Black population was the most prevalent in parts of the South.
“But just because communities of color may drive population growth, that doesn’t mean they have a seat at the table,” Dan Vicuna, the national redistricting manager of Common Cause, a national organization fighting for fair redistricting, told Yahoo News.
“Unfortunately, in this country, there’s a long history of elected officials in power using that power to either pack Black, Latino, Native American Asian voters into as few districts as possible or alternatively cracking those communities to spread voters throughout a bunch of different districts, so they have no power in any one district.”
Some states are preparing for trials. In Florida, the state will have a trial in September after Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis approved a congressional redistricting plan that links Tallahassee and Jacksonville, two districts that have a large population of Black voters.
“We’re challenging maps in Florida as a violation of their state constitutions’ prohibition against racial and partisan gerrymandering,” Vicuna said.