Updated: Jan 28, 2019
We all recognize voter suppression when polling places are closed, or additional ID restrictions are placed on voters, but it is often harder to recognize the worst offender in voter suppression, Gerrymandering. This has been the weapon of choice for the GOP over the past 20 years. This form of voter suppression allows voters to believe their vote counted, but if you are a democrat voting in a Gerrymandered Republican district, your vote makes no difference. By gaining control of state legislatures, the GOP has almost guaranteed a win in many states.
In the case of Wisconsin, Republicans used sophisticated computer models to redraw legislative districts by ”packing” as many Democrats into a small number of districts as possible, and “cracking” the remaining Democratic voters by splitting them into various other districts such that they would never constitute a majority. In the 2012 elections, after rigging the map, Wisconsin Republicans won only 48.6 percent of the vote statewide, yet captured 60 of 99 seats in the state assembly. Nationally, Republicans won 53 percent of the vote, but 72 percent of Congressional seats where they redrew the map.
Undoing these unfair practices must be the focus of our efforts.