Voting in Indiana

A batch of secret files found on a longtime Republican operative’s computer was found after his death which showed that he compiled race based data and blatantly used it to help the GOP intentionally stop Black voters from making it to the polls.

According to Salon, Thomas Hofeller is widely considered the master of modern gerrymandering, and after his death in August 2018, his estranged daughter stumbled across over 70,000 files that he had left behind.

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Some of those files have already been used to successfully challenge North Carolina’s gerrymander and the Trump administration’s plan to add a citizenship question to the census, which Hofeller argued would help “Republicans and non-Hispanic whites.”

The records showed how he used racial information to draw new political maps and impose voter ID laws targeting Black people.  Hofeller once argued that the Trump administration’s plan to add a citizenship question to the census would help “Republicans and non-Hispanic whites,” and his files confirm that his tactics were often successfully used to make those sorts of policies a reality.

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David Daley at The New Yorker, also obtained files that illustrate that Hofeller and his race based research played a key role in efforts to make it more difficult for African-Americans and college students to vote.

Hofeller’s files show that he compiled maps with overlays of the black voting-age population by district, which is in stark contrast to North Carolina Republican officials who have long argued that their maps discriminate based on partisanship and not race.

Republicans also denied that a congressional-district line that cuts down the middle of the largest historically black college in the United States – North Carolina A&T State University – was intentionally drawn to water down the Black vote.

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But Hofeller created “giant databases that detailed the racial makeup, voting patterns, and residence halls of more than a thousand North Carolina A&T students,” reports Daley. “He also collected similar data that tracked the race, voting patterns, and addresses of tens of thousands of other North Carolina college students. Some spreadsheets have more than fifty different fields with precise racial, gender, and geographic details on thousands of college voters.”

Earlier this month a North Carolina court tossed out the state’s legislative maps that Hofeller helped create, ruling that they violated the Constitution.