In an attempt to protect minority voters and their power in elections, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF), the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) and the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC) have partnered to create The Impact of Redistricting in Your Community: a Guide to Redistricting.
According to the three organizations, the changing demographics of America make redistricting more important than ever and they said they want to provide a template to how citizens can be involved in the process.
The guide provides the legal and policy framework for redistricting, and outlines how communities can participate in the redistricting process, keep the line drawers accountable and help ensure that the voting strength of minority communities is not unjustly weakened, the groups said in a news release.
It also includes a “Frequently Asked Questions” section on redistricting, an overview of the redistricting process and the role of the Voting Rights Act, an explanation of the importance of community participation, particularly in minority communities, and a directory of state-by-state information on local redistricting.
“If our social, economic and civic needs are to be met in relationship to local, state and national government, we must participate,” said Terry M. Ao, director of census and voting programs at AAJC, a member of Asian American Center for Advancing Justice, in an Aug. 25 statement. “Getting involved is the only way to ensure that our voting strength is not diluted and that all of our elected officials understand and represent our interests."
Kristen Clarke, co-director of LDF's Political Participation Group, agreed with Ao when she said “redistricting is one of the most important events in our democracy,” in a statement.
“Too often, officials fail to draw lines that adequately protect minority voting strength and recognize increasing levels of diversity all throughout our nation,” she continued. “Efforts must be made now to prepare communities to play a meaningful role in the process.”
The website promoting the publication, gives information not only on redistricting, but on Election Day information such as voter identification and challenges at the polls.
For more information, visit http://www.advancingequality.org/votingrightspubs/