Major Fight Brewing Over Midterms

Photo by Arnaud Jaegers on Unsplash

This is going to get ugly.

As the midterms near, states grapple over proposed revisions to their election maps.

Here’s what’s been happening across states in the U.S.

New York: Republican Districts Under Fire

On Thursday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul approved a new map possibly eradicating four of New York’s Republican districts.

Dave Wasserman, a Congressional elections expert and a journalist at Cook Political Report, stated in a tweet that the new map “could lead to the single biggest seat shift in the country.”

New York’s state Senate voted on party lines 43-20 to pass the congressional maps. The same was true for the Assembly, where the 103-45 victory was mostly passed on party lines.

On Wednesday, New York GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy said in a statement that “Democrats are circumventing the will of the people,” saying that because they couldn’t “win on merits” they were “trying to win the election in a smoke-filled room rather than the ballot box.”

The new state map reflects the population count taken in last year’s Census and will be revisited in ten years after the next Census count.

The Census findings also removed one congressional seat from the state because of population decline.

Kansas: Governor Vetoed Republican Map

Also on Thursday, Democratic Governor Laura Kelly vetoed a congressional map put forward by Republicans. The map would have made it challenging for the state’s only Democratic U.S. House Member, Congresswoman Sharice Davids, to get re-elected.

Speaking to FOX 4 in Kansas City, Kelly said drawing districts “is the core to ensuring that all Kansans have the opportunity to participate in their government and have their voices heard.” She also noted that “The courts and the Legislature have established case law and criteria on how to draw Kansas districts fairly and constitutionally,” saying the map would weaken minority communities’ voting power, calling instead for compromise.

She continued saying that “without explanation,” the map shifted “46% of the Black population and 33% of the Hispanic population out of the 3rd Congressional District.”

According to reports, Kelly’s veto may not last long as Republicans have announced plans to attempt to override Kelly’s veto with a two-thirds majority.

Republicans also defended the map –– that passed in the state’s House 79-37 and the Senate 26-9 –– saying it was “politically fair.”

Michigan: Lawsuit Dismissed

In Michigan, the state’s Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit that claimed new redistricting maps were unfairly disenfranchising Black voters. The lawsuit was dismissed with a 4-3 vote.

According to the old maps, Black voters had a majority in 15 districts. However, the newer maps –– created by an independent redistricting commission –– reduced this figure to seven.

In a state court, Michigan Republicans have also challenged the U.S. House map, as they claim it divides municipal boundaries unnecessarily.