State of Elections

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Tag: packing

The Tar Heel Test Case, Partisan Gerrymandering Cases in a Post-Rucho World

By: Gabby Vance

On Monday, October 28th, 2019, a three-judge panel of the Superior Court of Wake County ruled that the proposed North Carolina congressional district maps violated the North Carolina state constitution. Despite Democrats making up about half the state vote, the maps only consisted of three Democratic districts and ten Republican districts. The panel found that the maps clearly discriminated against Democratic voters. The mapmakers used tactics such as “packing” and “cracking” to skew the maps in favor of Republicans and manipulate the upcoming 2020 election in their favor. Packing concentrates supporters for a political party into one district to give their party a less number of wins. Whereas cracking, the opposite technique spreads large groups of voters with the same political ideology out to water down their votes. These methods created landslide victories in North Carolina in the three Democratic districts; the candidates consistently win by over 70% of the vote and then much smaller victories for the Republican seats, only around mid-to-high 50% victories.

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Gerrymandered or Court Ordered: The Second Re-Drawing Is the Charm for Florida’s Fifth

By: Jonathan Gonzalez

After the first round of judicial wrangling over two allegedly gerrymandered congressional districts, a Florida judge ordered on July 10th 2014 that the Florida fifth and tenth districts be sent back to the drawing board. The dispute arose from the Florida House of Representative’s mandated redrawing of the state’s congressional districts under amendments to Florida’s constitution passed during the 2010 election cycle. The amendments were intended to ensure that legislative districts were drawn cohesively and without favoring any political party. The Republican controlled state legislature interpreted “cohesive” as a mandate to pack African American voters into one district.

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