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Partisan gerrymanders stopped gun controls in five states, think tank says

One of the most prominent talking points in the entire democracy reform movement is that curbing money's sway over elections is a prerequisite to fixing every one of the nation's biggest problems. Now critics of partisan gerrymandering are trying to piggyback on that concept.

A new study concludes that aggressive legislative mapmaking by Republican majorities is responsible for the lack of any new gun control laws in five states during a decade marked by the accelerating pace of mass shootings.

In issuing the report Tuesday, the Center for American Progress, one of Washington's most influential liberal think tanks, joined the lengthening roster of groups advocating for states to take the drawing of political boundaries away from the politicians themselves in and turn the responsibility over to independent and nonpartisan panels.

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Democrats and voting rights groups are hoping to register more than 200,00 voters in Wisconsin. Above, new voters register at the Shorewood Public Library in 2012.

Push underway to register more Wisconsinites than state is ordered to purge

Civil rights advocates and Democratic operatives are vowing to register more new voters in Wisconsin than the 200,000 or more who are set to be dropped from the rolls under a judge's order last week.

How well that effort succeeds will say a lot about the ability of grassroots organizers to get more people to the polls in 2020 in the face of government actions that would normally tamp down turnout. The outcome could also prove crucial in the presidential race, because even though Wisconsin was part of the "blue wall" that Hillary Clinton was counting on in 2016, in the end Donald Trump secured its 10 electoral votes by a margin of fewer than 23,000 ballots.

This fall letters were sent to 234,000 registered voters suspected of moving out of state, giving them 30 days to respond or else find themselves dropped from the rolls — but not before 2021. The conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty then sued, arguing that under state law such people should be removed from the voter lists before the 2020 election.

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North Carolina General Assembly

The new district lines should result in Democrats picking up two additional seats in the House of Representatives.

Premier partisan gerrymandering fight settled on a middle ground

The nation's most prominent partisan gerrymandering fight is over. A newly drawn congressional district map for North Carolina will be used in the next election, a panel of three state judges has ruled.

The decision, announced late Monday, brings closure to the most pressing dispute in the country over the limits that politicians may go to in order to pick their own voters, rather than the other way around.

The end result is North Carolina is highly likely to elect five Democrats to Congress in 2020, two more than in most of this decade. Aggressive mapmaking by the Republicans who dominate the General Assembly had resulted in just three of 13 House seats going to Democrats even though their slate of candidates was securing about half the statewide congressional vote — and a slim but clear majority last year.

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