Redistricting is a political headache that thankfully occurs just once every 10 years. In most states, redrawing map lines is left in the hands of politicians, who more often than not, allow their own self-interests to guide their hands. This frequently pits Democrats against Republicans, and sometimes African-Americans against Latinos.
In San Diego, however, a coalition of minority groups is joining forces to ensure that their voting power is not diluted. They’re unhappy with the maps drawn by the San Diego’s all white and all Republican County Board of Supervisors, and making their voices heard.
“The maps ignore the Voting Rights Act and the demographic realities of this county and have been consciously drawn to prevent competitive elections—elections where a minority candidate has a real chance of success,” said Jess Haro, a local Latino leader, KPBS reports.
An editorial in the Union-Tribune on Thursday called the supervisors’ actions “shameless” and predicted that the maps will be challenged in court.
“It’s easy to see a judge concluding that minority voting strength is intentionally diluted by placing mostly Latino communities in North County in separate districts and by grouping historically African-American communities in the same district with La Jolla and Pacific Beach, the editorial board wrote. “We don’t see these decisions as driven by racism. Instead, they’re fueled by politicians’ desire for self-preservation. That distinction, however, hardly insulates the board from a Voting Rights Act challenge. Such a challenge now seems inevitable—and welcome.”
(Photo: Carlos Barria/Reuters)
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