With their first ever tele-town hall, The League of Women Voters of the United States announced the launching of a million dollar campaign to address redistricting challenges and to ensure fair representation for all. Called “People Powered Fair Maps,” it is a nationwide effort that will involve every state League. Each state’s situation has been analyzed and will be addressed appropriately. LWVUS will educate and organize to fight gerrymandering by holding leaders accountable.
Strategies will include education and advocacy, organizing and mobilizing, partnership building, ballot initiatives and referendums, state constitutional options, litigation and both state and federal legislative fixes.
At the federal level, the League will be working to restore the federal Voting Rights Act prior to the redistricting cycle in 2021. At the state level, some states will work with their legislatures to bring about changes. Where allowed, states will seek ballot initiatives and referendums.
In South Carolina, we expect to seek a legislative fix. We will be sending action alerts, letters to the editor, op-ed columns for newspapers, training our members in testifying and lobbying, power mapping and supporting legislative drafting. There are 22 states who, like South Carolina, will be seeking legislative fixes.
Some states will work on constitutional initiatives following Pennsylvania’s success with their “free and fair” constitutional wording suggesting that other states may be able to act with a similar state constitutional option.
The League of Women Voters, founded when women got the vote, will celebrate their 100th birthday in 2020. Clearly, they will mark that momentous occasion with another campaign to be hard fought — making sure every vote counts by assuring that redistricting maps are fair and drawn to give people the power to exercise their votes in a meaningful way.
Linda Powers Bilanchone, LWVSC