The creators of the American political system accounted for population changes in the nation over time; those inevitable changes meant that voting districts would have to be redrawn to account for new majorities and an equality of opinion. At first, redistricting was simply a way to make sure that every American vote counted, that everyone had a voice. Essentially, when a census is taken, the voting districts of states have to be modified to account for any population changes, so that each district’s votes hold the same weight. Unfortunately, in modern times of U.S. politics, that is not the case.
Like any time before an upcoming election, tensions are high in the world of American politics. Both Republicans and Democrats are doing anything they can to gain the majority, including corrupt tactics. In this particular case, both parties seem to be gerrymandering to get ahead in the upcoming elections. Gerrymandering is the strategic redistricting of voting districts to ensure a certain majority vote. Oftentimes, districts that have a majority of the opposing party will be split up in ways that basically ensure voters from those areas will not out-vote the new majority in their new district.
Even though gerrymandering is often determined to be illegal, both parties make an effort to participate in redistricting to gain political advantage. In North Carolina, Republicans are using redistricting to gain an advantage for seats in the House of Representatives. They have created district maps that could allow three seats to flip from Democratic to Republican. As the Republican party currently holds a lead of five seats in the House of Representatives, this practice could bolster that majority. This is not just the case in North Carolina or with Republicans. In New York, Democrats are also weaponizing the ability to redistrict as a way to boost their own votes. Four Republican majority areas have been redistricted and essentially destroyed. In fact, if this redistricting proves to be successful for the Democratic Party in New York, they could gain up to six seats in Congress that are currently held by Republicans. Other states do not have as many seats that could be taken over by the opposing party, which is why New York has so much attention on its redistricting.
One North Carolina seat in particular has caused a stir after an almost guaranteed change due to this corrupt practice of redistricting. Rep. Jeff Jackson, the current representative for the Charlotte district, has been pushed out of any re-election to this office as the new district determining the elections outcome was drawn by Republicans; Republicans who wanted him out and their own political allies in. As a result, Jackson decided to run for North Carolina Attorney General instead.
What makes Jackson so different from so many other politicians is that he has gained a following on Tik Tok, 2.5 million followers to be exact. His latest post, posted on October 26th, an announcement of his campaign for Attorney General and explanation as to why, has received one million likes in two days. Most of his posts balance between casual and professional as he wears a button up and discusses important political issues, but does so in a way that the younger generation can connect with through short, casual Tik Toks that new voters can easily access. In this latest video, he discusses how what has been done to him was a result of political corruption, something he plans to very seriously take down if elected to the Attorney General’s office.
The comments on his latest video also show the younger generations' outrage for this corrupt practices. Could Jackson’s political interaction on social media stir a new wave of voters to make some change and outlaw corrupt political practices, like gerrymandering? Should more politicians try to gain a following on social media platforms in order to enact further change for their country?
As of now, the future of gerrymandering is unknown. Maybe this new generation of voters, and politicians, will finally put a stop to corrupt political practices. The problem with redistricting is that it can be manipulated to give advantage to a certain party, which happened in both New York and North Carolina. Exploiting what should be a way to keep the districts fair has become something so different- something difficult to overcome. Rep. Jackson may just be the start of more politicians not only speaking out, but actively involving so many categories of voters.