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How the 2018 election could affect the next decade of redistricting
Helenmary Ball, left, of Calvert County, Md., as “Maryland District 5,” points toward the separated area of Maryland District 3, being represented by Bobby Bartlett, right, as nonpartisan groups against gerrymandering protest in front of the Supreme Court on March 28, 2018, in Washington. The court was hearing arguments on a gerrymandering case. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

While most election attention has been focused on the U.S. House and Senate, Democrats are competing to capture governorships around the country, and also hope to flip a few state legislatures. With the 2020 Census approaching, many of the governors and state legislators elected tomorrow will have power in drawing the congressional boundaries that will be used starting in 2022.

Unless that power gets taken away from them. Three states — Colorado, Michigan and Utah — are voting on ballot measures to create independent commissions for redistricting, making it a nonpartisan process. These commissions are already in use in California and Arizona.

Partisan gerrymanders have also been increasingly challenged in courts. Pennsylvania’s districts, drawn by Republicans after the 2010 census, had to be tossed out after a state Supreme Court decision in January. The new map will be used for the first time this election, presenting Democrats with several pickup opportunities.

North Carolina’s Republican-drawn districts were also struck down in August, but the courts decided that there wasn’t enough time to redraw the boundaries before November. North Carolina narrowly voted for Trump and Romney in the 2016 and 2012 presidential elections, but 10 of the state’s 13 current representatives are Republican. Gerrymanders aren’t immune to waves, though — three of these GOP-held seats are rated toss-up or lean Republican by Cook Political Report.

Read more:

These state-level elections could change the balance of power in Congress for a decade

The Washington Post’s gubernatorial race ratings

Which state legislatures might go blue this fall

Abortion, marijuana, redistricting and voting: What’s on state ballots this fall

Independent commissions — where do you draw the lines?

Why North Carolina’s House district lines have been upended — again

Midterm election updates: Reaction and results

Democrats took the House, Republicans held the Senate, and key races around the country were still too close to call.

See races and results for your state:
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