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On gerrymandering, unilateral disarmament is the worst option

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This is absolutely the right thing to do:

But as the panel prepares to unveil its proposed maps for the first time on Wednesday, Democratic lawmakers in New York and Washington are already laying the groundwork to cast them aside — plotting to use their supermajorities in Albany to draw new district boundaries for the next decade that might eliminate as many as five Republican-held seats.

The end result could drive one of the most consequential shifts in power in the country this redistricting cycle, the first since New York voters approved a 2014 ballot measure to curb gerrymandering.

Under the most aggressive scenarios, Democrats could emerge from 2022’s midterm elections with control of as many as 23 of New York’s 26 House seats in an all-out effort to prop up their chances of retaining control of Congress. For the first redistricting cycle in decades, Democrats control the Legislature and governor’s office, giving them the freedom to reshape districts without having to compromise with Republicans, who long held a lock on the State Senate.

“New York might be the biggest redistricting weapon for either party in the country,” said Dave Wasserman, a national elections analyst with the Cook Political Report.

Gerrymandering is bad, but any solution has to be federal. It’s regrettable that the Supreme Court refuses to do its job and that Joe Manchin doesn’t want the Senate to pass voting rights legislation, but these are the rules and Democrats refusing to play them would make the results of gerrymandering less democratic, not more. And leaving aside the general lameness of most “hypocrisy” charges, playing by rules you didn’t choose isn’t “hypocrisy” even if you oppose the rule.

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