As the nation approaches the midterm elections, the post-census redistricting process remains poised to make a substantial impact. In Florida, authorities are drawing an entirely new U.S. House seat onto the map, which the state is adding to its ranks because of its increasing population. This week, draft legislative district maps were released by officials in the Florida state House — and one of the maps features particularly aggressive gerrymandering that could leave moderate Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) struggling to win re-election because of changed district boundaries. If that particular draft map (or something similar to it) is enacted, an inroad could be created for another radical right-winger to join Congress.
We must pass the #FreedomToVoteAct and the #JohnLewisVotingRightsAct to defend our democracy against restrictive voting laws, election subversion and partisan gerrymandering. There is no time to wait.https://t.co/L0UL34vKlQ
— Rep. John Sarbanes (@RepSarbanes) November 29, 2021
Although it’s not immediately clear what exact form that the eventually-to-be enacted maps will take, the anti-gerrymandering organization All On The Line promptly spoke out against the newly released proposals. As the Florida arm of the group put it on Twitter:
‘Florida House Republicans just released new draft State House and congressional maps that are egregiously gerrymandered and strip power from Florida voters. Floridians have made it clear: We’ll accept nothing less than fair representation and #FairMaps.’
— All On The Line FL (@allontheline_fl) November 29, 2021
All On The Line receives funding from the National Redistricting Action Fund, which in turn connects to the National Democratic Redistricting Committee — an organization with former Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder as its chairperson.
Voters should choose their politicians, not the other way around. Congress must end partisan gerrymandering once and for all. It’s time for Democrats to eliminate the filibuster and pass the Freedom to Vote Act to protect our democracy.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) November 29, 2021
Around the country, activists have turned out against attempts by Republican state officials to put legislative district maps in place that unfairly favor their side, and there are already lawsuits over certain lines. Certain examples of GOP gerrymandering have been particularly egregious — in Texas, for instance, officials gave the state’s two new U.S. House districts to white majorities, despite the fact that non-white residents were responsible for the overwhelming majority of the population growth that gave the state those new districts at all. In Ohio, Republicans seem set to control 80 percent of the state’s U.S. House seats — although Trump won there in 2020 with a much smaller margin, meaning that the new district map does not appear to accurately reflect the political distribution of the population in the state.
The American people want fair elections. They do not want extreme gerrymandering. They do not want voter suppression. Period.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) November 26, 2021