Today, while Donald Trump was being inaugurated as president, a federal judge issued a ruling finding the State of Alabama guilty of racially gerrymandering numerous voting districts. The suit was brought by the Alabama Legislative Black Caucus, who saw the Republican district-drawers contain all black voters into the smallest number of mainly black districts. African Americans tend to vote Democrat more than Republican, so the Republican’s made this move to maintain their supermajority in the Alabama state legislature.
Worse than typical political gerrymandering, the Republican government officials explicitly excluded people from their districts on the basis of race. In effect, they refused to represent African Americans by keeping them out of their districts, isolate from Caucasian voters. The Court found that the State of Alabama violated the Voting Rights Act and mandated a redraw of districts before the next elections in 2018.
Craig Ford, Democrat minority leader in the State House in Alabama, says, “Today’s ruling highlights the need to take the politics out of drawing legislative districts and instead, rely on an independent, non-partisan commission.” To restore fairness to our democracy, especially in the current onslaught of minority voter suppression, we need non-partisan commissions to stop the unjust manipulation of American votes.
Marisa completed her undergraduate degree in 2013 at the University of Wisconsin with a double major in creative writing and media studies. She is an advocate of progressive policies and focuses her interests on gender equality and preventing sexual and domestic violence.