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1A Remaking America: How redistricting affected this year’s midterm elections

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), leader of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, departs following a news conference announcing his concession to opponent Mike Lawler at the DCCC in Washington, DC.
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), leader of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, departs following a news conference announcing his concession to opponent Mike Lawler at the DCCC in Washington, DC.

Results fromlast week’smidterm elections are in. After a House race in California was called forRepublicanslate Wednesday, the GOP’s control ofthe House was confirmed whileDemocrats maintained control ofthe Senate. 

But how much of the outcome was determined before voters even cast their ballots? 

Every ten years, election maps are reevaluated and redrawn to reflect states’ populations. But how the maps are drawn differs from state to state.

Michigan’s midterm map was drawn by a new nonpartisan group —the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission.

In New York, gerrymandered maps were drawn by the Democratic-controlled state legislature, struck down, and then bounced around the court system. The state ultimately used maps drawn by a court-appointed special master. Democratic Rep. Alexandra Ocasio Cortezsays the redistricting chaos there is at least partly to blame for four Congressional seats flipping to the GOP. 

In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis sent his own maps to the Republican-controlled state legislature. As a result, the GOP also picked up four congressional seats in the state. 

We convene a panel of experts to discuss how redistricting can advantage one party over another and how this played out in the midterm elections. 

This conversation is part of our Remaking America collaboration with six public radio stations around the country. Remaking America is funded in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Copyright 2022 WAMU 88.5

Anna Casey, Jorgelina Manna-Rea