The next round of redistricting in 2021 and 2022 is likely to be the most challenging in recent history and particularly detrimental to communities of color, according to a report by Michael C. Li, one of the nation’s leading experts on redistricting and gerrymandering and senior counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law.
The Redistricting Landscape, 2021-22 provides an overview of the battles ahead over the political maps being drawn this year and next that will apply to Congress and state legislatures for the next ten years. The report categorizes the 50 states according to their projected risk for partisan gerrymandering and/or racially discriminatory maps.
“Expect a tale of two countries,” Li writes. “In parts of the country, newly enacted reforms and divided government will make it harder to force through partisan gerrymanders or racially discriminatory maps. In other states, however, there may be even greater room for unfair processes and results than in 2011, when the country saw some of the most gerrymandered maps in its history.”
The risk for abuse in map drawing will be especially high in the South, where fast population growth and demographic change in Texas, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina will combine with single-party control of the process and weaker legal protections for communities of color.