These stories gave readers a clear and impactful understanding of one of the most important stories in America right now: the way that politicians are using their power to gerrymander and dilute the power of a single person’s vote.
Because of a recent Supreme Court decision, this year marked the first time that lawmakers had virtually unlimited discretion to divide up voters based on their political preferences. It was also the first time since 1965 that politicians could draw districts without the full protection of the Voting Rights Act. These graphics and stories show how lawmakers took advantage of those decisions to cement their power for the next decade.
These stories offered rich context that led to a deeper understanding of news events. When the Supreme Court allowed Alabama’s congressional map to go into effect for the 2022 elections, one of these stories offered a clear visual aid to show how Black voters were having their votes diluted. When Florida Governor Ron DeSantis insisted on dismantling the state’s 5th congressional district, another one of these visualizations offered a clear explanation of how that would harm Black voters.
Politically, these stories show how politicians in Texas have blunted increasing political competition in the Dallas suburbs by attaching them to voters hundreds of miles away. They show how Democratic politicians made New York City’s only Republican district a Democratic one just by moving its lines.
Taken together, these stories show the clear ways that gerrymandering distorts US democracy and makes it harder for Americans to have their voices heard at the ballot box.