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April 30, 2020

The Fulcrum: In Illinois, coronavirus kills year’s last plausible redistricting reform vote

By Sara Swann

The Fulcrum

Opponents of partisan gerrymandering have been fighting uphill for years to make Illinois one of the biggest blue states to take mapmaking authority away from politicians. Now the coronavirus has doomed the latest such effort.

The General Assembly has been in recess since last month because of the pandemic and now says it won’t reconvene before Tuesday — two days after the…

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April 30, 2020

KYFR: Anti-gerrymandering petition approved for signatures

By Jacob Notermann

KYFR

A ballot measure that would put the Ethics Commission in charge of redrawing district voting zones has been approved to collect signatures.

Organizers say they want the district lines to be drawn by an unbiased body, rather than the state legislature. The lines will be redrawn following the 2020 Census.

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April 24, 2020

The Fulcrum: Virginia becoming 9th state to end ‘prison gerrymanders’

By Tristiaña Hinton

The Fulcrum

Virginia prisoners will be counted in their home districts when congressional and state legislative maps are redrawn for the coming decade.

The state is about to become the ninth, and the third this year, to enact laws ending the practice known as “prison gerrymandering,” the term coined by critics for counting inmates as residents where they are incarcerated…

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April 22, 2020

Milwaukee Independent: RULING BY SUPREME COURT ON WISCONSIN’S ELECTION SHOWS JUDICIARY IS UNWILLING TO PROTECT VOTING RIGHTS

Milwaukee Independent

Wearing masks and gloves, Wisconsin residents who voted in person were met by election officials in similar attire. That was new. But it wasn’t new that voters found hundreds of polling places closed and therefore had to wait in line for hours. A U.S. Supreme Court decision just the day before had ordered Wisconsin to hold its in-person election without delay, not allowing extra time for…

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April 17, 2020

Jurist: Federal appeals court rules North Carolina gerrymandering case must be heard in state court

By Alina Rizvi

Jurist

The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled Thursday that a lawsuit challenging the North Carolina General Assembly redistricting plans under the North Carolina constitution must be heard in state, not federal court.

Plaintiffs allege that the redistricting…

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April 15, 2020

Chicago Sun-Times: Census delays could mean a Lincoln hat remap — and Illinois Republicans could win

By Ryan Tolley

Chicago Sun-Times

A plan being pushed by U.S. Census officials to delay sending population data to states until July 31, 2021, could give Republicans a shot at controlling the drawing of new legislative maps in Illinois.

Whoa. What, you say?

Yep, in what was shaping up to be a shoo-in for the Democratic-controlled Illinois Legislature to draw the maps in whichever fashion they would like,…

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April 8, 2020

Brennan Center For Justice: Gerrymandering Meets the Coronavirus in Wisconsin

By Michael Li

Brennan Center For Justice

Gerrymandering has real-world policy consequences, but rarely have those been as frighteningly illustrated than with what has played out in Wisconsin the past several days.

With the coronavirus ravaging the state, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers asked lawmakers last Friday to switch the state’s April elections to an all-mail election, warning that in-person voting in…

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March 30, 2020

Chicago Daily Herald: Time is running out to end gerrymandering, an enemy of democracy

By State Sen. Melinda Bush

During an unprecedented health crisis, it is difficult to focus on anything else. I certainly hope you are all taking this as seriously as I am — observing social distancing best practices, washing your hands frequently and taking steps to protect the most at-risk individuals in your life.

At the same time, sometimes other circumstances also demand our attention. I write this…

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March 28, 2020

New York Times: A World Without Partisan Gerrymanders? Virginia Democrats Show the Way

By Jesse Wegman

New York Times

Politicians rarely give up power voluntarily. They never give it up when they have free rein to lock it in for at least a decade, and exact long-overdue revenge against their political opponents.

But a group of Virginia Democrats did just that earlier this month, when they voted in favor of an amendment to the State Constitution stripping themselves of the power to redraw…

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March 14, 2020

Capital Gazette: Michael Malone: If Virginia can end gerrymandering, Maryland can too

By Michael Malone

Capital Gazette

Last year’s U.S. Supreme Court Benisek v. Lamone decision, which arose from Maryland’s grotesquely gerrymandered congressional districts, squarely placed redistricting reform in the hands of individual states.

I agree with the court’s blistering dissent in Benisek: “artificially drawn districts shift influence from swing voters to party-base voters who participate…

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