Eric Holder served as U.S. Attorney General during his stint with the Obama administration. Following his time at the White House, Holder has continued his work to ensure that the Voting Rights Act be upheld. One key issue that Holder often speaks against is gerrymandering.
Gerrymandering is an (often illegal) act where public officials manipulate voting districts and boundaries to empower a particular political party or base.
During a recent event produced by the Georgia Alliance for Redistricting, Holder spoke about gerrymandering, the Voting Rights Act, Electoral College, and even hinted at a possible presidential run in 2020.
On the importance of upholding the Voting Rights Act:
“There has been work done over the last 10 years or so that really fundamentally attacked our democracy. I hope that the Supreme Court Justices keep that in mind. The Voting Rights Act says that there should be equal sovereignty. That’s good because it gives political power to communities that too long have been disenfranchised. But it also can be used in a cynical way in a manner. Republicans in the South have packed African Americans into certain districts so that they have a free hand to create safe districts for Republicans in other parts of the states. This is happening at the congressional level. We have to have a vibrant Voting Rights Act. We can’t allow the Voting Rights Act to be misused and so we have filed lawsuits around those issues.”
On the fight against gerrymandering:
“This means Republicans giving up power because that’s the inevitable result of the Voting Rights Act. If you have a gerrymandered Congress, you’re not going to get them to vote for it. But if you want a good Voting Rights Act in our Congress, you need to have fair districts because people, again, generally are in favor of the things that are embodied in the Voting Rights Act. It’s the people in office who don’t like it because that threatens their electability. So that’s one more reason to be involved in the anti-gerrymandering.”
On the Electoral College
“We have a system where the person who doesn’t get the most votes can win. In two of the last five elections because of the Electoral College, somebody who didn’t get the most votes won. Those two people happen to be George W. Bush and Donald Trump. The Electoral College was actually tied to slavery. It’s also to the notion that the founders didn’t totally trust the people. And so these electors were supposed to be wise men who would, if the common people coming in voted the wrong way, the Electoral College could overturn that election. That’s how it was designed. I just think we need to do away with the Electoral College. Whoever has the greatest number of votes should win.”