I Prayed have prayed
Lord, please favor fair mapmakers of our nation’s political “geography” and frustrate disreputable schemes.
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With primary season in full swing, the 2022 election cycle is well underway. Head-to-head match-ups draw headlines, but another set of contests are also taking important twists and turns. Those are the redistricting debates.

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As a history student, I remember teachers and professors emphasizing an understanding of geography. The location of mountains, deserts, plains, rivers, oceans, and more sets the stage for history’s dramas to play out. Electoral “geography” similarly creates the theater for politics and, therefore, public policy. Any candidate serious about winning a campaign will know the boundaries of his or her hoped-for district and details about the neighborhoods within it.

Every ten years states reshuffle those maps for federal and state races following the most recent national census. This re-evaluation of the “geography” is intended to ensure that a state’s districts are fair reflections of the voting public with approximately the same number of people in each one. The new maps also address new district boundaries needed if a state adds or loses congressional seats based on the population findings of the census. There are only 435 seats in the House of Representatives, so the allotment of seats for each state is dependent on their population relative to the nation as a whole.

Some states delegate redistricting powers to a commission while in others the state legislatures are directly in charge. There are general ground rule principles like contiguity of districts and prohibitions on discrimination based on race or ethnicity. But for commissions or legislatures, particularly the latter, you can imagine that the political wrangling can become intense.

Again, the basic principle is to create fairly drawn districts given the most recent population data. However, which particular neighborhood gets assigned to what district can be very important to individual legislators. Moreover, state and national political parties —attuned to larger trends in different locations — are also very interested in these deliberations. After all, they will affect the political playing field for a decade to come.

The stakes are high. And that is all the more true when legislatures are governed by relatively razor-thin majorities of one party over another — like the situation in Congress right now. So you might not be surprised when battles erupt in swing states like Ohio or Florida. In fact, just this past week, a court ruled against a map backed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in a decision sure to be appealed by state authorities.

But redistricting battles can also extend to places far from what is often viewed as battleground territory. New York, for example, is one of the most “blue” places on any national political map. Democrats control 19 of 27 congressional districts and in the 2020 cycle they actually won a supermajority in the state senate for the first time since before the Civil War. Yet it is the site of an intense redistricting battle.

The Empire State is losing one congressional seat, but New York Democrats hoped to reshuffle district boundaries in such way that they would be favorites to win 22 of the 26 new districts. In other words, they hoped to net 3 seats — potentially a game-changer for the U.S. House of Representatives where Republicans currently only need to flip a net of 5 seats to regain the Speaker’s gavel.

Yet, despite their supermajority, New York Democrats have had several incredible setbacks. The state has a hybrid approach to redistricting — allowing a commission first attempts at drawing new district lines. If the commission fails, the legislature can step in to clean up a final map. The commission did fail, but in a way noncompliant with state rules. So a judge (a Republican) halted the new maps advanced by the legislature on procedural grounds. He also found the maps violated New York’s constitutional prohibition on gerrymandering to benefit a particular party.

But then, to the surprise of many, a Democrat-dominated higher court upheld the judge’s ruling. And when Democrats tried their hand in a federal court, the judge there admonished them for their “Hail Mary pass, the object of which is to take a long-shot try at having the New York primaries conducted on district lines that the state says is unconstitutional.”

This contest — and others still underway around the nation — show just how important establishing the political geography of the land is. May we pray for the efforts of wise and fair mapmakers to prevail.

How are you praying about the redistricting battle? Share this article to raise awareness of the importance of political geography.

Aaron Mercer is a Contributing Writer with two decades of experience in Washington, D.C.s public policy arena. Photo Credit: Canva.

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Karen Secrest
May 17, 2022

The redistricting issues have been ongoing for almost two years. Now groups are getting out the vote.
I continue praying the TRUTH will emerge as Psalm 91 and Psalm 103 around..

Kim Kennedy
May 17, 2022

Two and a half years ago, I had a 2 dreams about President Trump. One of them, President Trump asked me for a map of the city in the next 24 hours. (I had worked in San Diego for a Publisher who published US Military Maps of the local area in each military installation. When I used to work for this publisher, I would order a current street map by the city and it would take 6-8 weeks, sometimes longer to arrive.). I told President Trump it was impossible since the order would take weeks to arrive, not within 24 hours. He looked at me and said: “Get it anyway.” I went to my desk almost in tears. Suddenly a very tall man handed me the very map I needed. I was on my way triumphantly to give to the President when I awoke.
Although I have prayed for 2 years for the full interpretation of this dream, I feel the redistricting may be a strategy the Lord wants me to pray about. Anyone with insight into the dream, it would be appreciated.

Salem Zahn
May 17, 2022

I’m in agreement with all the other prayer warriors on this issue. You are in the midst of our prayers and we are thankful to You Lord Jesus for Your Devine leadership and righteousness. Thwart the enemy in his tracks at every turn we pray. Confound the plans and schemes of the evil one so that it comes to naught. Reverse any damage that may have been done so that even the enemy see his fruitlessness and gives up. Bind the enemy and bring all his cohorts to destruction. Bring them to their knees in submission by any means necessary if they refuse to stop kicking against the goads. Just like you brought the Apostle Paul (Saul) into submission we ask for many more conversions in order to bring glory to Your kingdom and Your precious name. The powerful name that is above and beyond all other names. The Name of Jesus Christ or Lord, Savior and King! Amen

Marsha Carol Watson Gandy
May 17, 2022

Heavenly Father, bring to nothing the workings of darkness that are seeking to draw maps that are not right and correct. We watch and we pray as YOU destroy all evil workings in the United States of America on Every Level. In the precious and holy name of JESUS CHRIST. Amen

Sharion H
May 17, 2022

There are many strategies in redistricting these battle lines. They tried to do it in our state by moving many Republican votes to a Blue area but we fought hard to keep the Red where it belongs. During the 2020 election, they simply deleted all of Mesa County Trump votes (29,000) from the state votes changing the outcome of the election and making us a Blue state. If you could see the flags and automobile parades, you knew that most of people of Mesa County were for Donald Trump. We still are. These are a cunning people. If they can’t beat you one way, they simply will remove your input from the election. We must pray that this doesn’t happen again by praying NO schemes can profit, NO trickery with the machines can change the outcome, NO one not elected can take the office ever again! And NO ONE will get away with messing with our elections but will stand in Federal Courtroom and be fined the maximum amount and serve full-prison terms. Federal Courts don’t allow for early releases or paroles. It’s all and no exceptions.

May 17, 2022

In stark contrast, yet in a circus house of mirrors way, we must ask, who is more evil, drug cartels-including the pharmaceutical-, mafia mobs or corrupt elected and appointed officials?
This is not unique to this generation, as people seeking to declare themselves gods, kings and pharaohs is well documented in history.
What is unique to this generation is how YHVH (Yud Heh Vav He) is moving them all to tight ropes with no nets. Our prayers reverberate on those ropes. God is sifting, shifting, separating and exposing. Pass the cotton candy.
Father, in the name of Jesus, give us Godly leadership. Turn hearts to You and for those who can no longer be saved, remove them from any decision making capacity.

Ellen Hoffman
May 17, 2022

Lord, I ask You to cause this to be a fair and impartial procedure. I think in order for that to happen – we must come closer together in unity. Our moral compass (You) have been removed from so much in this country. I ask You to cause Your people to want to pray. Cause us to become written epistles by You. Cause us to influence our society much more than it influences us! There are terrible battles because we are opposites. One side values life, moral values and the other side seems to me Lord sows discord, unrest and hysteria. The idea of dying to self is so far from this side. Heroism now seems to be centered on self. Please Lord, lead us in a way to make a difference.

May 17, 2022

The Lord hold the heart of the king and turns it like a waterwa.y
Lord I pray you will move on the hearts of these authorities and judges to fulfill your will, laying down their ideologies and following the law and constitution.
Lord hear our prayer and save us from unrigeoteousness.
In Jesus name.


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