Earlier today, a panel of national and state redistricting experts briefed the media on the redistricting provisions within the Freedom to Vote Act and how the legislation will help stop state legislatures’ ongoing attempts to approve gerrymandered maps in the current and future redistricting cycles. The state leaders described how Republican, Democrat, and split-controlled states are engaging in unfair redistricting processes and drawing highly partisan maps to protect the party in power.
In case you missed today’s media briefing, you can find the video link to the recording here.
Select quotes from the briefing, in order of speakers, are below.
Regarding the need to pass the Freedom to Vote Act:
“Every voter deserves to have a redistricting process that leads to a responsive, transparent, and accountable government. The Freedom to Vote Act has protections in place to help ensure states roll out a process that leads to fair maps. By helping to end extreme partisan and racial gerrymandering that erases voters’ voices, the Freedom to Vote Act will renew America’s trust in our democracy. Congress must swiftly pass it so we can address the partisan redistricting process taking place in the states right now,” said Kathay Feng, national redistricting director at Common Cause.
Regarding the need to end partisan gerrymandering:
“It’s time to put an end to a redistricting process that favors the interests of the politicians ahead of voters’ interests. The Freedom to Vote Act ensures that maps are drawn fairly, to deliver the resources our communities deserve, rather than to secure re-election for the politicians in power. We need Congress to help ensure we the voters can choose our elected representatives, not the other way around,” said Jay Young, executive director of Common Cause Illinois.
Regarding the importance of coalition/influence districts:
“For the first time, Colorado is engaging in what could be a transformative, independent redistricting process driven by the community. Our process is showing that voters have a desire to form coalitions outside of the normal tribes of left and right. The Freedom to Vote Act extends the ability to draw district lines that place the shared interests of diverse coalitions ahead of partisan interests not just to Coloradans, but all voters,” said Jennifer Parenti, lead redistricting organizer at Common Cause Colorado.
Regarding the need to protect communities of interest:
“State legislators of both parties have proven that when they are in charge of redistricting, maps will be drawn to benefit politicians, and not communities. But this year, Hoosiers from every corner of the state modeled how an independent, fair, and participatory process leads to fair maps that protect our neighborhoods. The Freedom to Vote Act would afford all voters, regardless of zip code or political affiliation, the right to fair maps that keep our communities whole,” said Julia Vaughn, executive director of Common Cause Indiana.
Regarding the need for a fair and transparent redistricting process:
“Redistricting should be a transparent and inclusive process that affords every voter a seat at the table. Voters in North Carolina are facing barrier after barrier to have their voices heard in a process that will determine their voting power for the next decade. The Freedom to Vote Act would be a landmark law that would improve the redistricting process enormously. It is needed to preserve and protect our democracy, our right to vote, and to help restore public trust in the redistricting process,” said Tyler Daye, redistricting community engagement specialist at Common Cause North Carolina.