All on the Line Non-Profit aims to end gerrymandering
Maya Mohan – North Bureau Chief
Gerrymandering is a process that has been restricting voting rights for centuries. “All on the Line” is an organization that’s sole mission is to end gerrymandering by creating fair maps.
According to the organization’s website, “Gerrymandering contributes to polarization and dysfunction in our political system.” The concept is named after Massachusetts Gov. Elbridge Gerry. When he was elected into office in 1810, the party he affiliated with, Democratic Republican, redrew district maps to weaken the opposing party for future elections.
Redistricting has posed a problem for many underrepresented minority groups. Recently, Latinos located around the Dallas-Fort Worth area have dramatically increased, allowing for them to potentially become their own congressional district. This would give that community the power to elect someone that best represents them and their needs.
However, due to Gerrymandering, this idea was crushed. During the redistricting process, the politicians that represent the Republican state of Texas had redrawn the lines to give the most power to the Majority-white congressional districts of Texas.
This misrepresentation could have dire consequences. Policies and laws that are introduced out of areas that have been gerrymandered are not a true representation of what people want.
According to Former United States Attorney General Holder, in 2011 Democrats ended up with less seats in the House of Representatives due to gerrymandering.
According to All on the Line, Florida is one of the nine priority states in need of fair representation for the next decade. Currently, the proposed map for Florida Redistricting 2022 favors the GOP especially with the high increase in population since 2010.
More specifically, according to the University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research (BEBR), over the past ten years, Broward County has seen a large increase in the population of Hispanics and Latinos.
Redistricting in Broward should reflect those changes by increasing the diversity of commissioners, who are elected to represent these areas. During an event sponsored by “All on the Line”, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton raised the question, “How can we be in a congressional district that represents us equally?” The answer to that is simple. Ending gerrymandering starts with the people.
We underestimate the power of ordinary citizens. Having the freedom to vote and acting on it can jump start the process to fair and equal representation. As ordinary citizens, it is important to get in touch with the senators and representatives that are in charge of the redistricting process. Keep the pressure on the people responsible.
Disinformation is part of the problem as well. Getting information from unreliable sources such as social media can mislead and spread false news, causing citizens to vote without knowing all the facts.
Instead, get information from the least biased and credible sources such as C-Span, The New York Times, or The Washington Post. Also, be willing to compare and contrast news sources with left and right wing bias such as CNN and Fox News, in order to form a well-informed opinion.