State lawmakers from across the U.S. Southeast — a region known for some the nation’s worst gerrymandering and voting restrictions — are now standing up for redistricting reform, according to a new report from the nonpartisan voting rights group Democracy North Carolina.
The organization’s researchers looked at proposed redistricting legislation in nine Southeastern states — Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
In the first half of 2017, lawmakers in seven out of nine Southeastern states filed redistricting reform bills, totaling approximately 25 proposals.
See more about this legislation in the full report at demnc.co/fairmapssouth.
Democracy North Carolina’s report attributes the high number of redistricting reform bills offered in 2017 to the strong desire among dozens of lawmakers — and the millions of voters they represent — to “rehabilitate Southeastern politics and democracy” by taking aim at what has for decades been a “closed-door process focused on maintaining political power.”
“Too often, elected officials prioritize their own reelection and partisan political power over the concerns of the people they represent,” said Isela Gutierrez, Democracy North Carolina’s associate research director. “Thankfully, Southeastern legislators from both major parties stepped up for redistricting reform in 2017.”