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Today is a big day for voting rights. And it’s not much of an exaggeration to say that this somewhat arcane issue that most people pay little attention to will over the course of the next couple of years help determine the course of American democracy.

On a case the Supreme Court is hearing today out of Ohio, combined with a case just decided in North Carolina and other voting issues that are in the pipeline, we have to decide a fundamental question: Are our elections going to be fair and open, or are we going to allow whichever party is in power at a particular moment to rig the system in their favor? It’s really no more complicated than that.

Let’s begin with what happened in North Carolina. On Tuesday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit struck down the congressional districts drawn by Republicans in the North Carolina legislature on multiple grounds, most importantly that the GOP map violates the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection by effectively depriving Democrats of representation in Congress. Though North Carolina is a closely divided state (Donald Trump won there in 2016 by less than four points, while voters elected a Democratic governor), the state currently has 10 Republican House members and only three Democrats.

Opinion | The future of American democracy is being decided right now

Republicans want to take us to a very bleak future for voting rights and fair elections.


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