NC A&T a case study in partisan gerrymandering

Divided and conquered without an opportunity to protest:

In adopting the electoral map, the legislature partitioned the campus of North Carolina A&T State University, the nation's largest historically black public college, into two separate districts.

"We had one person representing us who shared our beliefs. Now we have two people who don't really represent us," said Smith, 24, a 2017 graduate who works with voting-rights group Common Cause, which is among the plaintiffs challenging the new districts.

This particular move may be the partisan straw that broke the mapmaker's back. It should be, anyway. Not even the worst justices (Thomas and Kavanaugh) on our conservative Supreme Court could swallow the idea splitting NC A&T in half was merely a coincidence, or that students are better off with two Representatives instead of one. Their votes were "cracked," to use the parlance of the mapmakers themselves, and there is no viable defense of that. And this argument might be even worse:

Some Republicans and conservative advocacy groups have rallied behind the North Carolina legislators, arguing there is no constitutional right for a political party's seat count to be proportional to its percentage of the statewide vote.

"That isn't the system we have," said Edward Greim, an attorney specializing in election law who filed a Supreme Court brief on behalf of a national Republican organization.

The "system we have" was designed to provide representative government. That's why they're called Representatives. A system that is not representative, such as one that uses squiggles on a map to dilute voting power, is broken, and needs to be fixed. It ain't rocket surgery.

Back to the students:

For Smith, the new line dividing her campus along Laurel Street meant that each time she walked from her apartment to the library she entered a new district. It also meant, she said, that her vote was drowned out by her new district neighbors.

North Carolina A&T political science professor Derick Smith, whose window looks across the district line, said the boundaries were designed to disrupt a community known for its progressive politics, dating back even before the Greensboro sit-ins that were a key moment in the civil rights movement.

"They're breaking up a community of common interest to create a partisan advantage for the party drawing the maps," Smith said.

Yep. And the fact they're not even ashamed of it should frighten all of us.

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