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If you're a normal person with something resembling a busy life, you're forgiven for being confused about where things stand with redistricting in NC. So many court cases, appeals, new cases, more appeals - it's dizzying.
We're here to help - or at least try! Skipping the long and arduous history of redistricting as part of the long-time Republican voter suppression campaign, here's where things stand today as we head into the 2020 primary. No idea what this is about?
- Redistricting 101 podcast from Democracy NC
- The GOP's latest gerrymander ought to be the last straw for NC, NCPW
- NC's fair elections maven, Aylett Colston, has a great Twitter thread explaining all this if you're pushed for time.
It's time for the #NC #Redistricting round up!🤠— Aylett Colston (@EveryVoiceNC) November 18, 2019
In recent weeks, the NC legislature has redrawn NC’s voting district maps for:
✴️NC House (final)
✴️NC Senate (final)
✴️US House (subject to court challenge)#NCGA #NCPol #gerrymandering #FairMaps 1/ pic.twitter.com/lG74hPMl42
NC General Assembly Districts
These are the state senators and House representatives who (should) serve us in Raleigh. The NC courts demanded that the district maps for these folks be redrawn for the 2020 election because of extreme partisan gerrymandering - FINALLY.
The House went down a rocky road with bickering, accusations of closed-door shenanigans, and limited public input. The court that demanded the redrawing approved the new maps, but some Democrats objected specifically to eight districts in Columbus and Robeson Counties and Common Cause NC filed suit again, appealing directly to the NC Supreme Court because of the tight timeframe dictated by NC's candidate filing period (Dec 2-20) for the March 3 primary. The NC Supreme Court decided on Friday, Nov 15, that it would not hear that case, and Common Cause NC decided not to appeal that decision. Here's the final 2020 NC House map.
The Senate had a smoother time than the House, although some Democrats opposed the new maps on principle. “'These are the fairest maps, and this was the fairest process, in North Carolina in my lifetime,' Charlotte Democratic Sen. Jeff Jackson said of the Senate maps. Jackson, however, still voted against the maps. He said he opposes any political maps drawn by politicians, and 'independent redistricting would look just like the process we just went through, except it wouldn’t be politicians doing it.'” N&O (limited free views/month). Here's the Senate district map for 2020.
Dig deeper into the new maps with a map geek, NC Policy Watch.
Let's take a deep breath before moving on.
US Congressional Districts
Soon after the NC courts ruled that our NCGA districts were unconstitionally gerrymandered, a group of voters backed by Eric Holder's National Redistricting Foundation filed suit against NC's congressional district maps. These are the thirteen people (ten Republicans and three Democrats if you're counting, which I am) who (should) serve us in Congress. The US Supreme Court ruled it didn't have jurisdiction in state gerrymandering 😠, so this case was filed in the NC courts. A three-judge panel ruled in October that the plaintiffs would probably win their challenge at trial, so they issued an injunction against using the 2016 congressional district map in the 2020 elections. 😀
The NCGA got to work and quickly created (some might say rammed through) new maps that would shift the likely outcome to eight Republicans and five Democrats, then promptly adjourned until January. Democrats and Common Cause NC were not happy with either the process or the outcome, which the court hasn't approved yet. Guess what?? Moments after the new map passed in Raleigh, another lawsuit was filed and we're back in the New York Times (limited free views/month). Here's the current (unapproved and challenged) Congressional district map. Depending on what the court decides about approving the current map or hearing the challenge, the candidate filing period in December and March 3, 2020, primary could be delayed. If there's any question about the Republican view of partisan gerrymandering, check this CBC editorial on WRAL yesterday.
And I thought I'd be done now, but I just saw this from Billy Corriher with Facing South ...
Charlotte Judicial Districts
I missed this story until today: "The 2018 election was the first in which voters in Charlotte, North Carolina, chose their local judges in districts rather than county-wide. Two black judges, Alicia Brooks and Donald Cureton, narrowly lost their seats after the Republican-controlled legislature placed them in a district that is 82 percent white. Just over half of Mecklenburg County's population is white." Facing South.
The lawsuit that was brought is being heard this week in Raleigh, and Corriher is reporting on it in his Twitter feed.
I’m in a Raleigh courtroom for a hearing in the racial gerrymandering lawsuit challenging judicial election districts in Charlotte. https://t.co/yY1Fzhywpx Thomas Farr is sitting directly in front of me... 😠— Billy Corriher (@BillyCorriher) November 18, 2019
And this all happens again after the 2020 election and census! The real answer is redistricting reform with citizen representation and input from impartial experts. This is one of the BIG reasons we need to flip at least one chamber of the NCGA in 2020 and maintain or increase the number of Democrats in the other. What will YOU do to make that happen?
Tags: (2020 Elections, Redistricting, Voter Suppression, NCGA, NCPol)
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