• May 25, 2022

Faculty Director Prof. Guy Charles on the Electoral Redistricting Process

Sue Halpern, New Yorker
May 25, 2022

“Redistricting, in and of itself, can be democracy-protecting—a way of simply realigning representation,” Guy-Uriel Charles, a scholar of voting and elections at Harvard Law School, told me. “It also provides an opportunity for misalignment. Politicians who have a stake in the process and in maintaining their own political power can’t help but tilt the playing field in their favor.”

. . .

“One of the things that Republicans have done in the cycle is they’ve said, ‘Look, we’re not looking at racial data—we’re only looking at political data, and so you can’t accuse us of racial gerrymandering,’ ” the Harvard Law professor Guy Charles said. “But, of course, everybody knows, especially in certain states like Georgia, the most reliable Democrats are Black Democrats. So if you’re going to reduce the power of the Democratic Party, you’re also going to have to take away some of the majority-Black districts or, in the case of Texas, not add majority-Latino districts even though that is where all the population growth has been. So it is easy to say that a racial gerrymander is a political one, because right now, the fact is that for voters of color, especially Black voters, racial identity and political identity are tightly intertwined.”

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