Thursday, May 6, 2021

How the Trump era made redistricting more complicated

Republicans and Democrats accused of overseeing the redistricting process in states across the country now have to evaluate these changes as they prepare to make adjustments to districts once in a while to determine makeup Go a long way – and control – – of the House of Representatives.

“This is the million-dollar question, whose work focuses on redistricting and voting rights,” said Michael Lee, a senior attorney at the Brennan Center for Justice, who said the changes would be permanent during Trump’s term. “Map makers do nothing if the thing to be cautious and cautious is to assume that changes that work against you or your party are permanent, while changes that work in your favor are temporary.”

New census data is used every 10 years in congressional districts – along with education levels, funding, and historical voting patterns to attract congressional seats. Republicans, due to their control of most state legislatures, have been far more successful in drawing maps that favor their party.

Democrats have responded with varying levels of success with a two-pronged approach. First, operators and attorneys have filed several successful lawsuits alleging that the other party is engaging in an unlawful manner, particularly along racial lines. Second, Democrats have looked to turn the redistricting process into a political issue, committing more millions to state legislators to try to win ahead of the redistricting process. Those efforts have been far less successful.

In the majority of states, the maps are redrawn and accepted by state legislatures, giving the state governor several rights to approve or reject new states. Only a handful of states, including Arizona, Colorado and Michigan, rely on relatively independent commissions to set new maps.

For those working with redistricting, particularly in some states with political control, the pressure to correct these calculations is high, given that this process may determine control of the House of Representatives for years to come. . Stressing these calculations, dramatic demographic changes have been made across the country, with states in the upper Midwest and Northeast likely to lose seats in Congress, while states such as Georgia, Texas, Florida and North Carolina are largely But due to fuel, there is a preparation to add seats. Minority voters.

How sustainable the changes during the Trump administration can be, it is said, is the question, when it comes to redefining this cycle, Adam Kincaid said. And it has forced people to ask themselves whether this is “just the beginning of a new long-term in general or on these temporary flows that we are feeling right now.”

“I don’t think anyone has an answer.”

States that lose, and those who win

Experts believe that a slate of upper Midwest and Northeastern states such as Michigan, Minnesota, New York and Ohio is likely to lose some seats if the census data is delayed later this year. The politicians of each state are pressurized to ensure that the seat lost is not in their favor. While some of these states are guided by independent commissions, a state like Ohio is under Republican control, conservative meanings in the state can serve to ensure that the district is at a disadvantage with Democrats.

States in the so-called Sun Belt, including Arizona, Texas, Florida and North Carolina, are expected to benefit from the seats being lost by their counterparts in the north. While an independent commission determines the districts of Arizona, the process in Texas, Florida and North Carolina is all directed by their respective state legislatures – all controlled by Republicans.

The impact of these changes will be felt across the country, in both major metropolitan areas and rural communities.

In New Mexico, where Democrats control both the state legislature and the governor’s mansion, the party hopes to remodel the state’s second congressional district, a district currently represented by Republican leanings and Republican Yvette Harel.

In Texas, Republicans are in total control of the process, but are facing the reality that explosive growth in the state is coming from the more competitive and diverse suburbs surrounding cities like Austin, Dallas and Houston, and reliably Republican West Texas Is not in, whose growth in population has not resided.

And in places like Ohio, a state that expects demographics to lose a congressional seat, Republicans are expected to exercise total control of the redistricting process to ensure that congressional districts are not out of their column Comes.

According to National Democratic Redressing Committee Chairman Kelly Ward Burton, the problem facing Republicans in growing states is that most of the development, especially in the suburbs, came from minority populations. If Republicans cut these populations and more reliably connect them with Republican voters in the Exbs and rural areas, the party will be opening itself up to racial nonmandering claims.

Warden Burton said, “The presumption is that Republicans should get all those new seats simply because they control the process.” And that is illegal. “

For Republicans, Lee said with the Brennan Center, the problem area is south. The party said states such as Georgia, Texas and Florida have the most control of the process, but it is more difficult to germander in those states without exposing race claims.

“The problem with white Democrats (in the South) is that they live near white Republicans, sometimes living in the same house, so unless you’re getting out of someone’s bed … white Democrats It’s really hard to get many of them when they’re not, Lee said. “It’s a lot more efficient because of residential segregation to target communities of color. And so you can’t really be politically quiet in the South, without targeting communities of color that you think are right in race-based claims. “


The suburbs of the nation are the major battlegrounds in these states, given the changes in these areas, some of the largest cities in the country have come from the surrounding suburbs. In these Republican-controlled states, previous redistricting fights have divided metropolitan areas and combined them with more Republican outlying and rural areas, reducing democratic gains in these areas.

Each party will be working to spread its supporters in different districts, with or without the political changes of the Trump era. But those shifts add another level of uncertainty to the process.

“For those who did this stuff a decade ago, if they knew Donald Trump was going to come in 2016 and move American voters, there are at least a dozen seats across the country that would Would have been drawn differently than that., ”Said Kincaid. “And the challenge for the next few years is trying to estimate how permanent versus temporary this realization is.”

Over the past decade, Democrats have focused more on redistricting and gerrymandering, and this year they are most focused on states where Republicans are not only in control, but the power that comes with recreating a second seat Are achieving.

More aggressive actions by Democrats, along with changes in states to make the redistricting process less partisan, have made it harder for Republicans to defend their previous redistricting work in some states. This is why people like Ward Burton and other Democrats focus on redistricting, believing that the party will try to achieve whatever it can in places like Florida, Georgia and Texas.

The latest redistricting process is also at play at a time where Democrats are drawing more attention to gerrymandering, making it an important political issue, particularly for minority communities most often hurt by partisan redistricting.

Jasmine Burney-Clarke, who runs the Equal Ground Education Fund in Florida, recently began preparing active activists to lobby for the redistricting process, teaching a range of community and faith leaders that they are fair in the state The role that Republicans can play in advocating redistricting is controlled by Republicans. The effort came after a drawn-out process in 2010 due to several lawsuits and a drawn-out process.

“We can definitely make preparations that could possibly come, as we’ve seen it before,” Bernie-Clarke said. “Our hope is that they have learned a lesson this time with black and brown people and have tried to do so, but we know that they can be as beneficial as possible.

This story has been updated to include the full married name of Kelly Ward Burton.


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