There are many underhanded and sneaky ways to suppress the black vote, and GOP legislators in a number of states, particularly those that flipped blue in 2020, are willing to use all of them to stay in power in 2022.
🚨ALERT: A group of Georgia voters file lawsuit challenging the Peach State's new legislative maps. The lawsuit claims that the districts violate Section 2 of the VRA by diluting the voting strength of Black Georgians. #gapol https://t.co/pM3obhmHGE
— Democracy Docket (@DemocracyDocket) January 11, 2022
One of the ways is to “pack and crack” black voters, a tactic currently being used in Georgia, where Joe Biden not only won in a traditionally red state but Sen. Raphael Warnock and Sen. Jon Ossoff flipped two red senate seats blue, as well. “Packing” is when large groups of black voters are drawn into one voting district to reduce the power of their vote to one area. “Cracking” involves grouping black voters, a population with significant growth in the state in recent years, into district lines where the strength of their vote is diluted by large numbers of white voters. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit, all black voters in Georgia, say both have occurred in the state.
Democracy Docket writes that:
‘The complaint highlights the growth of Georgia’s minority population, particularly Black voters, and argues that the Legislature should have created five additional state House districts and three additional state Senate districts in which Black voters could elect their candidate of choice. Instead, according to the complaint, the Legislature chose to pack and crack Black voters across multiple legislative districts to weaken their influence, continuing the state’s long pattern of racial discrimination.’
"We call on Congress to get done what history will judge: Pass the Freedom to Vote Act. Pass it now to prevent voter suppression so here in Georgia, there's full access to voting by mail."
— Indivisible Guide (@IndivisibleTeam) January 11, 2022
Both “packing” and “cracking” the vote are part of gerrymandering, a practice that red states across the country are accused of using in the redrawing of congressional maps ahead of the 2022 elections. Political analysts say that democracy itself is on the brink with the new districts, which weaken the strength of the black vote in a country where their political voices have for too long gone unrecognized.
The filed legal complaint says that:
‘In undertaking the latest round of redistricting following the 2020 decennial census, the Georgia General Assembly diluted the growing electoral strength of the state’s Black voters and other communities of color. Faced with Georgia’s changing demographics, the General Assembly has ensured that the growth of the state’s Black population will not translate to increased politicalinfluence in the Georgia State Senate and Georgia House of Representatives.’
The fight for voting rights takes persistence. As MLK exhorted, “The clock of destiny is ticking out. We must act now before it is too late.” Thank you, @POTUS, for refusing to relent until the work is finished. Welcome back to Georgia where we get good done. #FTVA #JLVRAA
— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) January 10, 2022
With the rise in population of black voters in Georgia, elections like Ossoff’s, Warnock’s, and Biden’s were made possible in the long-red state. Should lawsuits like the one filed by black voters in Georgia prevail, future changes in representation will be possible, as wel.
‘The population growth during this period is entirely attributable to the increase in Georgia’s minority population. The 2020 census results indicate that Georgia’s Black population grew by over 15 percent and now comprises 33 percent of Georgia’s total population. Meanwhile, Georgia’s white population decreased by 4 percent over the past decade. In total, Georgia’s minority population now comprises just under 50 percent of the state’s total population.’
— Reuters (@Reuters) January 11, 2022