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Americans Don’t Trust Their Congressional Maps To Be Drawn Fairly. Can Anything Change That?

FiveThirtyEight: “The United States is in the middle of a once-in-a-decade process: redistricting. And although it’s early yet — 19 states aren’t expected to finalize their maps until next year — a number of states have proposed maps, and there are debates happening all across the country over which ones to pass. Six states have finalized maps. But Americans aren’t necessarily confident that the process will be a fair one. Just 16 percent of U.S. adults said they thought their states’ congressional maps would be drawn fairly, while 44 percent said they thought the maps would be drawn unfairly, per an August YouGov/Economist poll. Another 40 percent of adults said they were unsure if the maps will be fair. That might be one reason why independent commissions, which aim to empower ordinary citizens to draw map lines, have grown in use since the last redistricting cycle. In that same YouGov/Economist poll, 50 percent of Americans said they thought independent commissions should be responsible for the redistricting process in their state. However, it’s unclear whether independent commissions will be enough to help build trust in the redistricting process. For some, the redistricting process is simply “the most political activity in American politics,” according to Michael Bitzer, a professor of politics and history at Catawba College and author of “Redistricting and Gerrymandering in North Carolina: Battlelines in the Tar Heel State.” And Bitzer doesn’t see that changing anytime soon…”

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