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Michigan Activists Pushing Anti-Gerrymandering Amendment - The Atlantic
Voters Not Politicians gathered an astounding 425,000 signatures in Michigan to secure a spot on the November ballot for a proposed constitutional amendment creating a citizens’ commission for redistricting.
LANSING, Michigan—Katie Fahey walks in to the Grand Traverse Pie Company, blocks from the state capitol, wearing a black T-shirt that announces her cause. voters should choose their politicians, it reads, not the other way around.
As Fahey steps to the counter to order lunch, the cashier, a 20-something like her, recognizes the message. Last year, he tells her, he signed the initiative petition circulated by Voters Not Politicians to ban gerrymandering.
“We got almost a half a million people to sign,” enthuses Fahey, who founded the group in 2016 based on her viral Facebook post.
“That’s for the midterms?” asks the cashier’s co-worker.  
“Yeah! So, Yes on 2, November 6!” Fahey says. “We just need 2 million voters. It’s fine! We got this.”
Fahey’s bravado is both sincere and ironic. An improv troupe founder and a mile-a-minute talker, the short-statured, dark-haired 29-year-old projects an idealistic energy that helped inspire thousands of volunteers through a massive, low-budget petition drive. She’s also wittily understating her group’s mammoth task ahead—and its high stakes for democracy, in Michigan and beyond.
gerrymandering  politics  gov2.0  voting  election 
23 days ago by rgl7194
Will the Real Voter Fraud Criminals Please Stand Up - WhoWhatWhy
Let’s say you had to rob a bank and there are two ways of doing it: In the first, you’d have to walk into a series of banks with a gun and steal $1 at a time — risking arrest and severe punishment with each robbery. In the other, you work for the bank, can steal $5 million at a time, and, if you get caught, you get to keep the money and face no legal consequences. Which would you choose?
If this sounds like a no-brainer, here is an even more ridiculous choice: Let’s say you had to steal an election and there are two ways of doing it: One of them is to convince millions of individuals to cast a vote in states in which the outcome is not in doubt and risk severe penalties for doing so. The other is to use your elected office to deny millions of people the right to vote (or to make their vote meaningless by putting them in gerrymandered districts). If you get caught, there are no penalties and, if you are lucky, nothing will change.
Now here is the craziest thing: In the US, there is an actual debate over which of these latter two scenarios is an actually existing problem.
voting  election  GOP  gov2.0  politics  gerrymandering  op-ed 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
District Court Rules Against North Carolina Gerrymandering - WhoWhatWhy
With the 2018 midterm elections right around the corner, a North Carolina district court ruled Monday that the state’s current congressional district lines are the result of an unconstitutional gerrymander. While the implications of the court’s decision remain unclear, the result could be as drastic as a redrawing of North Carolina election districts before the November ballot.
The North Carolina district court, composed of a panel of three judges, had found last January that the redistricting violated the constitution, but was ordered by the US Supreme Court to reconsider the case in the light of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Wisconsin’s Gill v. Whitford case. The Wisconsin decision set a precedent that plaintiffs in gerrymander cases must show that they have legal standing — i.e., they stand to suffer direct harm in each gerrymandered district — for their suit to be heard in court.
The panel ruled yesterday that the plaintiffs in this case did demonstrate such standing and proved that the current map of congressional districts is an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander.
legal  gov2.0  politics  election  gerrymandering  state 
6 weeks ago by rgl7194
North Carolina gerrymandering update
Court finds the maps in place can't be used in the Nov 2018 election. Gonna make a hell of a mess.
gerrymandering  northcarolina  politics  nc  districting  votingrights 
7 weeks ago by nelson

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