As Leaguers, we know that there are all kinds of tools in the voter suppression toolbox that actively thwart citizens in their efforts to cast their ballots and to make those votes count equally.
Gerrymandering is one such tool that undermines representative democracy by allowing officials to select their voters rather than voters to elect their officials. The two main forms are racial, the intentional manipulation of the redistricting process to reduce the political power of a certain racial group, and political, the intentional manipulation of the redistricting process to favor one political party over another. (To learn more about redistricting, watch our February program.)
This year, states will be drawing their district maps using the 2020 Census data (which is not expected to be final until July at the earliest). The new districts will stand for the next decade, until the process is repeated after the 2030 Census.
Take Part in LWVK’s Week of Action
Leagues throughout the nation will be hosting events on April 29, People Powered Fair Maps™ (PPFM) Day of Action, to shine a light on the redistricting process and demand fair maps,
Both the Kansas and the Johnson County Leagues have made redistricting and fair representation a priority. Members from Leagues throughout the state are working diligently to create a strategy for us to work in concert and with partners to educate voters about the importance of redistricting and advocate for the establishment of an independent redistricting commission to oversee the process.
Thanks to the efforts of LWVJoCo’s Redistricting Champion Connie Taylor and many other League members throughout the state, Kansas will have a PPFM Week of Action, April 24-29. The Week of Action will kick off at the LWVK State Convention with the premiere of the first of three videos LWVK plans to create to educate voters about redistricting.
Other events planned for the week include a discussion with the creator of “The Line in the Street,” social media activism and a coordinated email/letter-writing campaign to state legislators. Keep apprised of all of the events throughout the week on our website.
Our job as League members is to help the fair maps snowball grow and gather speed. This is where you come in. It will take all of us to make sure fair district maps are a goal for each elected official at the state level. Take part in one or all of the events planned during our Week of Action, tell a friend about our Week of Action, talk to a coworker about how redistricting can be used to silence a group of voters, or email your state representatives to tell them why this is important.
Do all you can to ensure that every vote matters equally.
Amber Stenger, President