Redistricting

Image of a judge's gavel
Wikipedia

A three-judge panel of a federal court ordered the North Carolina legislature to redraw their district lines and hold a new election next year. The court found 28 of the state house and senate districts were unconstitutionally racially gerrymandered. The decision requires the redrawing of the lines and shortens all the terms of members elected earlier this month to one year. 

Despite winning just 54 percent of the total popular vote, Republicans will hold 64 percent of the legislative seats
Preliminary 2016 election results / N.C. Board of Elections

In the North Carolina General Assembly, the GOP retained veto-proof majorities in both chambers thanks at least in part to gerrymandered legislative districts.

Wake County School Bus
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

State Lawmakers' 2013 finagling with the Wake County election maps made it possible for high turnover on the largely Democratic school board this election. Voters weighed in on all nine school board offices. But six out of seven running incumbents kept their seats on Tuesday. Three ran unopposed, and three others won handily against their challengers.

There have been more political advertisements in support of Roy Cooper than Pat McCrory.
The Center for Public Integrity

Roy Cooper widened his fundraising lead over Pat McCrory in the third quarter, according to campaign finance disclosures.

During the quarter, Cooper, the Democratic challenger, raised more than $9 million compared with $5.3 million raised by McCrory, the Republican incumbent governor. That widened the fundraising margin this election cycle to $21.8 million for Cooper and $13.9 million for McCrory, as of Sept. 30.

Voter stickers
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Early voter turnout data make it only harder to predict North Carolina elections for president, senate and governor.

On Thursday, a day on which early voting sites increased throughout the state, the only clear trend showed that unaffiliated voters have turned out in higher numbers than before, making a hard-to-predict election that much harder.

Steve Hammel (middle), vice president & general manager at WRAL-TV, introduces Sen. Richard Burr, R-NC, (left) and former Democratic State Representative Deborah Ross (right) at the first U.S. Senate debate held in Durham on October 13, 2016.
Kara Lynne Wiley / WUNC

Incumbent Sen. Richard Burr continued to hold a fundraising lead over Deborah Ross, his Democratic challenger for the U.S. Senate.

Through the third quarter in this election cycle, Burr had total receipts of nearly $11 million, compared to $8.4 million for Ross, though her campaign has been raising money only for about one year and his has raised cash since Jan. 1, 2015.

Roy Cooper and Pat McCrory
File photo / WUNC

In North Carolina, liberal groups have outspent conservatives on television, and Roy Cooper has outraised Pat McCrory, according to the most recent campaign finance reports available.

Cooper had raised 47 percent more money from 76 percent more contributions than McCrory through June 30, the most recent date for which campaign finance information is available.

North Carolina House Chamber
Jessica Jones / WUNC

Throughout the state, legislative incumbents are facing familiar challengers.

In 13 North Carolina legislative races this year, the incumbent faces the exact same challenger as two years ago. In some of these rematches, the margin of victory last election was close, and the loser will need to flip only a few hundred votes to come out on top in 2016.

Speaker of the House Tim Moore and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger on the first day of this year's legislative session.
Jessica Jones / WUNC

Even if Roy Cooper takes up residence in the executive mansion, Democrats face a tough challenge in the General Assembly to break a veto-proof majority that Republicans hold in both legislative chambers.

Tom Ross
University of North Carolina

A bipartisan group of former judiciary members offered their proposal for congressional maps yesterday.

The partnership between Duke's Sanford School of Public Policy and the nonprofit organization Common Cause presented a new map of the state's districts to demonstrate that lines could be drawn without regard to voting history or party registration.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Terry Sanford Distinguished Fellow Tom Ross who led the panel.

Ken Rudin
kenrudinpolitics.com

A federal court declared North Carolina's drawing of election lines unconstitutional.

The three-judge panel said the districts must be redrawn because they are racially gerrymandered. The court will allow the election in November to proceed under the old maps.

Host Frank Stasio talks with political junkie Ken Rudin about the decision, its consequences and other political news.

photo of NC Legislature
creative commons

State lawmakers completed a chaotic final day of the legislative session in Raleigh on Friday, giving final approval to a $22.34 billion dollar state budget before sending it on to the Governor.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

A three judge panel at the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down two General Assembly redistricting measures. The ruling caught lawmakers at a chaotic time, as they’re holding closed-door meetings to consider changes to House Bill 2, while trying to adjourn for the year, prior to the July 4th weekend.

Image of Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie
kenrudinpolitics.com

The United States Supreme Court issued decisions this week in several high profile cases related to abortion restrictions and immigration regulations.

The high court also agreed to hear North Carolina's redistricting suit. Their decisions could affect voters in November.

Ted Budd at the ProShots firearms complex
Bud for Congress

Ted Budd, a gun shop owner from Davie County and a first-time political candidate, took the Republican party’s nomination for the 13th Congressional District on Tuesday night. He emerges from a field of 17 candidates for a seat that will favor the GOP nominee in the November general election.

Photo: Map of North Carolina
Flickr user Lindley Ashline

State Rep. Pricey Harrison, D- Guilford, wants to reinvigorate a bill to create a nonpartisan redistricting commission.

She joined a bipartisan coalition pushing for reform at a press conference last week.

Photo: Proposed legislative maps of 2016
North Carolina General Assembly

Federal judges are being asked to approve the new North Carolina congressional maps approved by state lawmakers last week. Earlier this month, three voters successfully sued after claiming the previous maps were racially gerrymandered.

North Carolina General Assembly

North Carolina lawmakers met a Friday deadline to complete a court-ordered rewrite of the state's congressional voting maps. They also postponed the congressional primary until June 7. 

The new plans will move forward after the U.S. Supreme Court late Friday declined Republican lawmakers' request to stay the lower court order. Here are some of the key takeaways from the redesign:

Why did the General Assembly re-draw the maps?

A picture of a gavel on a document.
Brian Turner / Flickr Creative Commons

The North Carolina legislature votes today on new congressional district maps. The move is required by a ruling of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals that declared the current districts unconstitutional because of racial gerrymandering.

Lawmakers are expected to move the primary date for the congressional races from March 15 to June 7 and reopen the filing period for those races. The measure also calls for the elimination of runoff elections. 

Photo: Sen. Bob Rucho, a Republican from Mecklenburg County
Jorge Valencia

Republican legislative leaders proposed a new outline for North Carolina’s 13 congressional districts on Wednesday, moving two incumbents out of districts they represent and likely pushing the primary elections for congress past the scheduled March 15 date.

Lawmakers, responding to a federal court ruling that said they had racially gerrymandered some congressional districts in 2011 and ordering them to draw new ones, presented maps that would rearrange almost all of the state’s voting lines. The proposal would keep the delegation’s 10-3 Republican majority.

A picture of a gavel on a table.
Joe Gratz / Flickr Creative Commons

Lawmakers have until Friday to redraw two North Carolina congressional districts after a federal appeals court said they were unconstitutionally gerrymandered.

A three-judge panel from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals said the 1st and 12th districts were drawn primarily on race. 

Republican lawmakers have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to grant a stay of a lower court’s ruling to keep the districts intact with the March primaries just weeks away. However, they are also moving forward with plans to redraw the districts.

An image of the 1st congressional district in NC
Wikipedia / Public Domain

North Carolina Republican legislators said on Tuesday that they want to keep racial considerations out of consideration when drawing new congressional district lines for the state, even as they hope the U.S. Supreme Court will issue an order telling them they can continue using current voting maps.

A Republican-led special redistricting committee voted to draw maps using political party information from elections since 2008 -- but not voters’ race. They will use the criteria to ensure Republicans keep their 10 to 3 majority in the state’s congressional delegation.

Photo: Federal judges have struck down North Carolina's 1st and 12th Congressional districts.
Wikipedia

North Carolina lawmakers heard from dozens of citizens on Monday, as they await a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court on whether they will be required to immediately re-draw some of the state’s congressional district lines.

About 80 people signed up to speak to lawmakers during a five-hour meeting heard at the General Assembly building and five satellite locations from the mountains to the coast. Some did not answer when their names were called and inclement weather forced the cancelation of a site in Guilford County.

The Republican presidential field has thinned with Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina dropping out. Ohio Governor John Kasich remains and will try to keep up the momentum follwing his second-place finish in New Hampshire.
Alex Hanson / Flickr Creative Commons

The race for the White House heats up as voters in Iowa and New Hampshire made their choices. Several candidates, including Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina, dropped out after poor showings in the first two contests.

And in North Carolina, the March 15 primary is in flux because of a court ruling declaring two congressional districts unconstitutional.

An image of the Greensboro city skyline
Turboknowledge / Wiki creative commons

The Triad region was a case study for many of North Carolina's top news stories in 2015. Greensboro is part of the lawsuit against the latest round of redistricting in the state. The merger between Reynolds American Inc. and the Lorillard Tobacco Company rocked the local economy. Many of the effects of the 2015 events will carry into the new year. 

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