The 2021 redistricting cycle is now underway. LDF has been closely monitoring the redistricting process in key states, including Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Georgia to ensure that the process is transparent and communities have a say in how electoral lines will be drawn. Here, we’ve compiled a state-by-state look at our work. Since the redistricting process began, LDF has sent letters, submitted proposed maps, and filed lawsuits opposing discriminatory redistricting plans.
The 2021 redistricting cycle will be the first without Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act in place to protect against discriminatory redistricting. In 2013, the Supreme Court ruling in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder effectively dismantled Section 5 and the pre-approval process that required states with histories of racial discrimination redistricting to seek approval from the federal government before implementing plans. The absence of the federal government’s pre-approval process is a major detriment to voters of color going into this next redistricting cycle.
Achieving equal representation and being able to cast equal and effective votes depends in part on redistricting maps that are drawn fairly to reflect and respect our communities. The maps drawn for the post-2020 redistricting cycle will determine the allocation of political power and representation at every level of government across the nation for at least the next ten years. Since the federal government will no longer act to review discriminatory voting policies in advance, the redistricting process now lies with everyday citizens, especially Black, Latino, and Asian American voters, who are most vulnerable to disenfranchisement through discriminatory voting policies.