The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law – in conjunction with Development Seed – today launched an interactive tool that shows how extreme partisan gerrymandering may distort democracy and blunt the public’s voice this November.
Based on the Brennan Center’s landmark study from earlier this year, Extreme Gerrymandering & the 2018 Midterm, the map allows users to see how even with a landslide in the national vote, Democrats must overcome the gerrymandered firewall that has locked in a Republican advantage since the 2010 Tea Party surge.
“This shows at the district level just how much egregious map drawing distorts congressional elections and silences the voice of the people,” said the Brennan Center’s Michael Li. “Don’t be fooled by results on election night. Even if Democrats overcome these baked in handicaps, the distortive effect on our democracy still needs to be cured or many gains this year will evaporate in 2020. It shouldn’t require wave elections to bring about change.”
By moving a slider representing national vote share, this new interactive tool shows that even with a substantial lead in the total national vote, Democrats would just likely eke out just a slim majority in the House of Representatives. The map includes district-by-district breakdowns that allow users to see how a shift in the national vote share could flip districts across the country.
“Powerful mapping tools and highly specific data on citizens have enabled more extreme and precise gerrymandering,” said Development Seed CEO Ian Schuler. “We are are turning these same tools around in order to demand fair and democratic elections. Competitive elections produce better politics, more representative leaders, and result in better, more inclusive policy.”
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