Obama Sounds The Alarm & Begs America To Protect Voting Rights

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Former President Barack Obama spoke out this week as the nation moves through the redistricting process, which takes place after each census and involves the redrawing of legislative district lines in order to more appropriately reflect the distribution of the population. The problem is that, during this process, corrupt politicians can enact district lines that (among other, similar possibilities) place their own supporters in the majority in just about as many districts as possible, even if those supporters aren’t even the majority in a given state’s overall population. That corruption of the redistricting process is called gerrymandering, and Obama singled it out.

As for the former president put it:

‘Right now, state legislatures across the country are setting new boundaries for state legislative and congressional districts. And in many states, Republicans are drawing maps that allow them to hold onto power. In Texas, for example, Republicans recently passed a law making voting harder, especially for people of color. Now they’re advancing a new congressional map that’s tilted in their favor and doesn’t reflect the state’s growth. And in Georgia, Republicans released a congressional map that decreases the voting power of communities of color – including African Americans in a historically Black district – and ignores how the state has changed.’

Obama added that if Americans “don’t stand up for democracy, we’ll see this type of gerrymandering happen in even more states,” which, he said, is why the National Democratic Redistricting Committee is fighting the good fight against gerrymandering and why “the Senate must pass the Freedom to Vote Act to protect our communities from partisan gerrymandering.” Check out the former president’s pointed comments below:

The Freedom to Vote Act — including its ban on district lines that were drawn “with the intent or [with] the effect of materially favoring or disfavoring any political party” — has the support of every member of the Senate Democratic caucus, meaning that, with the Senate’s current party breakdown in place, it could pass — if there were changes to the filibuster rules in the chamber. Those rules demand the agreement of at least 60 Senators in the 100-member Senate before moving forward on most bills, meaning that most successful bills must be at least somewhat bipartisan, but Mitch McConnell isn’t known for bipartisanship. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), who’s one of those pushing the Freedom to Vote Act, recently said that Democrats are going to “do everything we can to make the case” for the Freedom to Vote Act and “go to the procedures if we need to” — meaning examine potential changes to the filibuster rules.