Manipulating district lines is just one way politicians stay in power. Another is by making it harder for the electorate to vote them out. A new report by a liberal think tank concludes that partisan gerrymandered legislatures have led to more voting restrictions — "a power grab on top of a power grab."
The Center for American Progress study, released Wednesday, found that Republicans in four states used map-guaranteed statehouse majorities to enact voting restriction (such as photo ID laws) and block easements to the ballot box (like longer early voting periods) — efforts that have proven particularly burdensome for communities of color, which usually vote Democratic.
The report is the fourth and final in a series designed to show why the cause of redistricting reform — turning district map drawing over to independent commissions — should be more of a priority for the left. The first, in December, blamed partisan gerrymandering for an absence of new gun controls this decade. The others cited the system for limiting Medicaid expansions and curtailing government spending on child care and education.
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Partisan gerrymandering has given Republicans an edge in congressional elections over the last two decades, resulting in outsized GOP representation in the House, a recent study found.
Since 2000, nearly 40 House seats have shifted to favor Republicans as a result of gerrymandering, researchers at the University of Maryland concluded in their paper published last month. Democrats, on the other hand, have not seen any significant seat gains in the last five decades of redistricting.
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The Final Four in the Elections quarter of our Democracy Madness draw is upon us — and it turns out only one top seed has made it to the regional semifinals.