Policy Summary: On June 3, 2019, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC) announced a pledge that future political candidates at the federal and local level can commit to upcoming campaigns. The pledge states:
“For too long, partisan gerrymandering has been used as a tool to manipulate electoral districts to benefit political parties instead of voters.
I believe every elected official should be accountable to the people they represent, which means we need to end gerrymandering.
I pledge to support fair redistricting that ends map manipulation and creates truly representative districts.”
The pledge has been sent to current members of the Democratic Party and at last count has been embraced by twenty – six politicians which include a number of Democratic candidates for the 2020 presidential nomination, a number of party leaders and a handful of congressional and state legislative leaders. LEARN MORE, LEARN MORE
Analysis: The pledge conceived by the NDRC is a direct result of the aggressive gerrymandering tactics undertaken in many states the last decade. Since 2010, legislators in a number of states have redrawn congressional and state legislative lines to draw districts that would ensure that a political party would win that district regardless of the candidate. This attempt to draw districts that would rig the system to ensure an advantage for a preferred political party has led to an inequality in voting results. States that had a majority number of votes cast for one political party overall often ended up winning a minority of seats statewide. This has led to lawsuits in courts where some partisan maps were thrown out and even to some new options adopted by some states like independent redistricting commissions.
While the President of the United States has little power in implementing and enforcing change on the issue of gerrymandering, nearly all of the current Democratic presidential candidates have signed the pledge because of the importance of supporting change on an issue that has run amok for far too long. The message that this pledge sends is that American citizens need to pick their elected representatives instead of having politicians pick who their voters will be. The current system is broken and has been broken for a long time and partisan gerrymandering is one reason that has contributed to the dysfunction and stalemate in American politics today. The pledge allows voters to see which politicians support the pledge and through the NDRC become more informed on how to confront the issue, how to reform the system and eventually implement a durable and fair redistricting process. LEARN MORE, LEARN MORE, LEARN MORE
- Brennan Center for Justice – non – profit group webpage on partisan gerrymandering issues.
- National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC) – advocacy group pushing for a fair redistricting process.
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