Redistricting Reform: Last Night’s Other Big Winner
While obviously the big winner last night was House Republicans, another big winner was supporters of redistricting reform. In California and Florida, anti-gerrymandering ballot measures won by large margins.
In Florida, Amendments 5 and 6, which mandate perimeters intended to prevent gerrymandering in the state legislature and congressional redistricting, both secured over 62 percent of the vote. This is over the 60-percent threshold required for a state constitutional amendment to go into effect.
In California, Proposition 20 passed by an equally large margin, also winning around 62 percent of the vote. Prop 20 will expand the power of the newly created California Citizens Redistricting Commission by having it also draw the new congressional districts in addition to state legislative districts. Similarly, Proposition 27 in California, which would have abolished the redistricting commission, lost 40.6 – 59.4.
In these two big states, overwhelming majorities sent a clear message against the extreme gerrymandering that has dominated the two states for years.
Collectively, California and Florida contain 78 congressional districts, roughly 18 percent of all congressional districts. Reducing gerrymandering in these two large states could potentially have national implications.