Month: January 2016

Evenwel May Just Be an Awful Can of Worms

Victoria Bassetti, writing for Brennan Center in this article titled “Supreme Court Redistricting Case Is New Front in Voting Wars,” speaks eloquently about the dangerous thinking behind the Evenwel case now before the U.S. Supreme Court. If the powers that be actually have a choice on what population base to use when redistricting, won’t politics… Read More ›

Augusta City Election Officials Perplexed at Running Elections Without DOJ Supervision

In this local news story, election officials in Augusta City, GA remain befuddled about how to proceed with elections without having to report to the Justice Dept. on their every move. Apparently, the preclearance process has become such an institution in the city, official are at a loss on how to proceed.

PODCAST: Georgetown Public Policy Review Talks Voting Rights in 2016

From the Georgetown of Politics and Public Service, IPPS fellow Buffy Wicks, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, and Ari Berman, reporter for The Nation join Georgetown Public Policy Review executive media editor Matt Emeterio to discuss the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, recent changes restricting access to the ballot, and what will happen… Read More ›

Hearing Date Set On Alabama Voter ID Lawsuit

Montgomery, Alabama – February 11th is the date a U.S. District judge has set for a hearing on whether to order a preliminary injunction requested by Greater Birmingham Ministries to suspend application of the state’s voter identification law. Read more in the Montgomery Advertiser.

Strange Alliances in Fayetteville Voting Rights Lawsuit

Fayetteville, Georgia – Fayetteville’s school board and board of commissioners reluctantly have decided to do away with at-large voting. Ironically, some blacks are not happy with a decision that was meant to benefit them. This article in the Atlanta-Journal-Constitution details the not so typical suburb’s unique politics. Read more.

Listen to U.S. Supreme Court Oral Argument Audio in Evenwel v. Abbott

On December 8, 2015 the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Evenwel v. Abbott, on the concept of “one person, one vote” and whether states could consider total population or the number of eligible voters when redrawing legislative districts. Click below to listen.      

U.S. Supreme Court: Shelby County Cannot Recoup Attorney Fees for Winning Landmark Voting Rights Case

Today the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Shelby County, Alabama. It means that Shelby is stuck with the $2 million bill for winning its landmark case against the Voting Rights Act. It had filed a petition to recover its attorneys fees, which is allowed under the Act but a lower court denied the… Read More ›

Olsen’s Algorithm: Computerized Redistricting for Maximum Compactness

This Washington Post article suggests that “compactness” trumps everything else in redistricting. It gives better outcomes than drawing lines around communities of interest and it beats the network of voting rights laws on the book. Take a look at what maps would look like if they were drawn for optimal compactness. Read more.

Redistricting from an Engineering Point of View

This Daily Kos article  shows just how easy redistricting can be by using simple geometry. No algorithm yet can tackle the various state and federal statutory requirements. Oh, and then there’s the constitution.    

Video – The Voting Rights Act 50 Yrs. Later

Wash. DC: Professors Julian Zelizer and Orville Vernon Burton talked about the factors that led to the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and challenges to voter’s rights after the Supreme Court invalidated part of the act in 2013.