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Ohio is among 4 of the most gerrymandered states, Fair Fight Action says and as extremists continue to design maps to block representation of Blacks and to dilute Black political power....By, Ohio's black digital news leader

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By Fair Fight Action

Have you heard the pro-voter news out of Alabama and Florida?

In both states, anti-voter extremists had tried to weaken Black political power by manipulating the congressional redistricting process — but courts have now struck down those efforts.

Let's back up a little, talk about how we got here, and lay out what comes next.

States recently had to launch their once-a-decade process of redrawing district lines, also known as redistricting. And it opened the door for extremists to further obstruct democracy through racial gerrymandering.

Gerrymandering is the process of drawing district boundaries, often in illogical ways, to intentionally advantage one political party. And it's one of the many tactics extremists are using to dilute the voting power of Black, brown, and young voters. How? By packing certain voters into as few districts as possible.

Here's what that looked like in four states — and here's where those efforts stand:

Twenty seven percent of Alabama's population is Black, but the state only has one Black member of the U.S. House — representing the one district where Black voters are a majority.

How did this happen? Well, the extremist governor and state legislature refused to fairly represent the Black population when they recently redrew their Congressional map. The U.S. Supreme Court has since ruled that their map was unconstitutional. Still, the state's leaders openly defied a federal court order and tried to go ahead with their original plan. But in late September, the Supreme Court upheld a lower court's decision to block that map — a victory for the pro-democracy movement.

Governor Ron DeSantis fought for a congressional map designed to eliminate a historically Black district. Pro-voter groups took the plan to court. In early September, a state judge ruled against the new map, and a federal court started hearing the case in late September.

Extremist lawmakers enacted congressional and state legislative maps that were specifically designed to weaken Black voting power in particular districts. Black voters and our pro-voter partners filed a lawsuit to challenge these unfair maps, and the case was recently heard in federal court.

After two years of redrawing state legislative maps, the Ohio Redistricting Committee voted unanimously in late September to adopt new maps drawn along party lines that will heavily favor Republican extremists. There are three ongoing court cases that challenge the current gerrymandered maps — in part for how they weaken Black political power — and the Ohio Supreme Court has struck down five of the ORC's proposed maps so far.

We'll keep an eye on these cases and continue pushing back against attempts to weaken Black political power.

Make no mistake, gerrymandering is part of a larger national agenda to block representation for marginalized groups and push ballot access further out of reach. As extremists inevitably continue to design unfair maps, we'll fight back even harder to ensure that eligible voters can make their voices heard.

Thanks for all your support,

The Fair Fight Action Team

Last Updated on Friday, 13 October 2023 20:44

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