Obama stars in new anti-gerrymandering video

Former President Barack Obama is the star of a new video released Wednesday to promote the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, an organization aimed at battling partisan redistricting that’s chaired by his former Attorney General Eric Holder.

In the nearly three-minute video for the organization, Obama advocates “rethinking the way we draw our congressional districts.”

“Today, technology lets the party in power precision-draw the map in a way that packs the other party’s supporters into as few congressional districts as possible. It’s why your district might be shaped like a corkscrew. But it’s also how a party gains more seats while winning fewer votes, which isn’t fair,” he says, adding, “It means that politicians don’t have to worry as much about a serious challenge from the other side. That moves our debate from the rational, reasonable middle where most Americans are to the extremes.”

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Holder’s organization is registered as a 527 advocacy group and raised $10.8 million last year, according to the Washington Post. Holder is currently mulling a presidential run and has said that he’ll decide on whether to launch a campaign by early next year.

Obama goes on to say in the video that Republicans stand to benefit if maps are not redrawn.

“Of course, that’s good for special interests who want to protect tax breaks for the most powerful, or the gun lobby, or environmental polluters — but it’s not good for our children. And regardless of our party affiliations, it’s not good for our democracy,” he says.

The Obama video follows a series of gerrymandering and redistricting challenges around the country.

Voters in the swing state of Ohio approved a gerrymandering reform proposal in May that would change how the state draws congressional district lines following the next U.S. Census. And the Supreme Court decided on gerrymandering cases involving district lines in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Maryland, Texas and North Carolina.

Politico reported in 2016 that Obama identified the group as his main focus for post-presidential political activity.