The word for the times seems to be turmoil! Everywhere one looks! Corona virus-induced illness and death. Awkwardness of masks and social distancing … and the irrational partisanship that has accompanied both. The loneliness of “shelter in place.” Shutdown of all things normal. Massive unemployment. Bankruptcies in progress and on the near horizon. School closures. Travel curtailed and sports “benched.” Police killings, racial strife, and not the least of all, climate change.
If you don’t think gerrymandering plays a part in the chaos, think again. When legislators win political office – via small-turnout primaries in “safe seats” controlled by their political party – they have no compunction to fix issues and problems nor talk with constituents. Regardless of how they perform, they get re-elected. They use every possible disruption to fashion “wedge issues” that criticize and blame their opposition for all that’s wrong. It’s a recipe ripe for promulgation of strange and damaging ideologies, retaliation, the awarding of favor to narrow and powerful interests. The smoke of propaganda, absurd and laughable press conferences, and sham photo ops are all designed to tell disinterested, disgusted, ignorant voters that all is well! And oh, did I mention that regardless of how they perform, re-election is usually a shoe-in? Gads!
Do you wonder how Maeve sees all this? Let’s check in on her latest encounter with “election-rigging zealot” GerryMander.
Got that! A recorded confession by the master ‘fixer’, GerryMander. Come on, man! That guy’s got to go!
Want some more detail?Democracy North Carolina recently published a Built by Us podcast interview with Harry Taylor. Learn about the genesis of the Flush GerryMander initiative, where redistricting stands, and why fair redistricting and fair maps are so crucial of our democracy. To listen, click here.
We can make change happen on November 3, less than four months away. But the COVID19 virus has the conventional voting process tied in knots. Recent chaotic primary elections in Georgia, Wisconsin, and Kentucky are a case in point. To be sure you’ll be able to vote safely, check off these:
Be sure your voter registration is in good order here …
The coronavirus will still be a threat by November 3, so visiting your polling place and standing in line might be worth avoiding. Instead, consider voting by mail. North Carolina has a simple, no-excuse process to submit an absentee ballot request form via email, USPS mail, fax or in person. The absentee ballot request form can be found here. The State Board of Elections is also working to launch an online portal to request an absentee ballot. [Note that requesting an absentee ballot now does NOT obligate you to vote by absentee ballot. You can still decide to vote in person should conditions change.]
Your 2020 Census registration is and will heavily impact the business of the People and our government for the next decade. If you’ve not been contacted and subsequently registered, take care of it here.
If you’re feeling patriotic as July 4th approaches, here are some things you can do to help move redistricting reform forward:
Request in the strongest possible appeal these 4 individuals allow public chamber discussion on the redistricting bills current in committees. Please call and email them again and again. Senator Phil Berger (919-733-5708; Berger@ncleg.net); Senator Ralph Hise (919-733-3460; Ralph.Hise@ncleg.net); Representative Tim Moore (919-733-3451; Tim.Moore@ncleg.net); and Representative David Lewis (919-715-3015; David.Lewis@ncleg.net)
Call and write your own N.C. senator and House member.
In truth, We the People know what’s wrong. We know viable solutions are available. But too many in political power don’t want to resolve problems and fix issues. Let’s clear the board for the legitimate election of statesman and people of good conscience. Let’s Flush GerryMander! Now!