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There's one democracy reform best suited to stopping Trump's comeback

Kresky is counsel for Independent Voting, which works to promote the political clout of unaffiliated voters. An earlier version of this piece first ran in Independent Voter News.

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How to Slay a Dragon: Reflections on a documentary

Kresky is an attorney in New York. He wrote this piece for Independent Voter News.

I recently had the pleasure of watching "Slay the Dragon," Barak Goodman and Chris Durrance's stunning documentary on the fight against partisan gerrymandering in Michigan and Wisconsin. It played before a full house at Betaworks Studios in lower Manhattan.

The film tracked parallel efforts in the courts and on the ground. In Wisconsin a group of Democratic Party activists put together a high-powered legal team to sue in federal court, arguing that in 2011 the Wisconsin legislature enacted a redistricting scheme that disadvantaged Democrats. The measure of the disadvantage was the disparity between the vote statewide for Democratic Party candidates and the number of seats the party won in the state legislature in 2012. The case succeeded in the lower courts but was reversed by the Supreme Court on the grounds that the plaintiffs lacked standing.

Across Lake Michigan, Katie Fahey put together a grassroots effort to place a referendum on the ballot to establish a non-partisan redistricting commission. Fahey, a political novice, launched her campaign with a Facebook post asking others who thought gerrymandering unfair to join in doing something about it. The documentary takes us from the "kitchen table" drafting of the language of the initiative; to the approval of the ballot language by the Board of State Canvassers; to the statewide volunteer petition drive that netted 425,000 signatures; to an effort to block the initiative in court that failed when the Michigan Supreme Court voted 4-3 to allow it on the ballot, to the on-the-ground campaign that won a majority of 60 percent at the polls in November 2018.

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