BATON ROUGE, LA | January 18, 2022—According to a new poll (https://louisianaprogress.org/redistrictingpoll), a majority of Louisianans have some very clear priorities they want to see state legislators focus on during the upcoming redistricting special session, which begins February 1. Those priorities include more equitable racial representation and more political competition, with much less consideration given to protecting incumbent elected officials.
Specifically, 58 percent of respondents think it’s important that Louisiana’s political maps reflect the state’s racial diversity, while 78 percent believe it’s important to prioritize more politically competitive districts. And 59 percent of people surveyed don’t think it’s important to protect incumbent elected officials.
The poll was conducted by Public Policy Polling, and commissioned by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, ACLU of Louisiana, Fair Districts Louisiana, and Louisiana Progress. Along with gauging Louisianans’ opinions on several redistricting principles, the 17-question poll asked respondents how aware they are of the redistricting special session and where they’d gotten their redistricting news and information. You can find all of the questions and results, with crosstabs, at https://louisianaprogress.org/redistrictingpoll.
“It is clear that Louisianans will not tolerate discriminatory redistricting that results in severe underrepresentation of Black voters,” said Michael Pernick, Redistricting Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense Fund. “The Legislature should heed the results of this survey and ensure that in all new district maps, Black voters are afforded an equal opportunity to participate in the political process and elect candidates of their choice.”
“Politics in Louisiana and across the U.S. has become far too polarized and acrimonious,” said Stephen Kearny, Co-Founder, Fair District Louisiana. “With more competitive districts, our elected officials will be incentivized to find common ground with one another and listen to a wider diversity of constituents.”
“It’s clear that Louisianans want lawmakers to focus on fairness and racial equity in redistricting, not political self-interest. Over and over during the legislature’s statewide ‘road show,’ members of the public said they wanted their government to better reflect the state’s changing racial demographics. This poll affirms that,” said Chris Kaiser, Advocacy Director with the ACLU of Louisiana.
“Few, if any, polls like this have been conducted anywhere else,” according to Peter Robins-Brown, Policy & Advocacy Director at Louisiana Progress. “These results give us unique insight into what the people of Louisiana, and maybe even people around the country, care about in redistricting.”
With just two weeks remaining before the state legislature begins its redistricting special session, and local government bodies across Louisiana already redrawing their own districts, these poll results can serve as a guide for elected officials to make sure they include the will of the people in their work.
When: January 18, 2022
Peter Robins-Brown, Policy & Advocacy Director, Louisiana Progress, (504) 256-8196, firstname.lastname@example.org
Juan Martinez, Chief Communications and Marketing Officer, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, (212) 965-2200, email@example.com
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