Redistricting

Image of Greensboro Skyline
Beyonce245 / Wikimedia Commons

Two controversial redistricting bills passed last week in the Senate are headed for debate on the House floor. 

Senate Bill 181, introduced by Republican Chad Barefoot of Wake County, modifies the boundaries for Wake County Commissioner Seats. Senate Bill 36, introduced by Republican Trudy Wade of Guilford County, reconfigures the Greensboro City Council to a seven-member body in which the mayor has no voting power.  Both bills raise questions about the role of state lawmakers in controlling local governing bodies. 

Wake County
www.wakegov.com

At the Capitol, two controversial redistricting bills are heading for debate on the Senate floor. One would modify the boundaries for Wake County Commissioner seats. The other would change the maps for Greensboro City Council districts. Supporters say these measures improve representation. Opponents want state lawmakers to leave local governments alone.

Photo: Map of North Carolina
Flickr user Lindley Ashline

A coalition of Democratic and Republican state representatives wants to cede their responsibility to draw North Carolina's electoral districts, to non-partisan staff or a non-partisan commission.

They say they want to take politics out of the process, but similar efforts have failed for more than 20 years.

Photo: Justice Cheri Beasley
Justice Cheri Beasley Committee

North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley has won a re-count to keep her seat against  Winston-Salem attorney Mike Robinson, according to certified State Board of Elections results.

Beasley, endorsed by Democrats in the non-partisan race for the state’s highest court, gained a net of 17 votes in the re-count, keeping a narrow lead of 0.22 percent of ballots cast, the unofficial results show.

Voting map
North Charleston via Flickr

    

In 1964, the Supreme Court held that the voting power of each individual should be equal. But do current voting districts reflect the principle of “one person, one vote”?

Two former North Carolina mayors have joined a coalition seeking to put the power to draw voting districts in the hands of a non partisan commission.

Picture of gavel
Flickr.com

Opponents of the legislative and congressional districts drawn in 2011 by the General Assembly argued in court today that those boundaries should be thrown out.

The effort to scrap the new legislative and congressional boundaries landed in the state Supreme Court today. Attorneys for groups from the Southern Coalition for Social Justice to the state NAACP told justices the boundaries for the newly drawn maps are unconstitutional. They want the court to postpone the candidate filing period for this year's elections as well as the May sixth primary date.

Court Upholds N.C. District Maps

Jul 8, 2013
North Carolina's newest Congressional districts are among those up for debate in Wake County Superior Court Monday and Tuesday.
NC Legislature / ncleg.net

RALEIGH, N.C. - A three-judge panel on Monday upheld the boundaries for North Carolina's legislative and congressional seats drawn by Republicans, saying the lines don't damage constitutional rights of citizens.

The Superior Court judges, in a unanimous 171-page decision, rejected the arguments of Democratic voters, civil rights groups and election advocates who sued over the lines and argued they were racial gerrymanders.

North Carolina's Congressional District 12 in 1992.
http://www.senate.leg.state.mn.us

In 2010, when Republicans won control of the state House and Senate, they radically redrew voting districts in favor of their own party.  In previous elections, Democrats have done the same.  Now, there's a bipartisan effort in the state House of Representatives to reform the redistricting process.

North Carolina's newest Congressional districts are among those up for debate in Wake County Superior Court Monday and Tuesday.
NC Legislature / ncleg.net

A panel of judges is set to hear arguments Monday about whether to uphold or reject North Carolina's newest legislative and congressional districts.

A three-judge panel is allowing two lawsuits against the Republican-drawn redistricting maps to go forward.

Judges heard more than three hours' worth of arguments yesterday over litigation challenging newly drawn congressional and legislative maps.

Plaintiffs in a lawsuit over newly drawn maps for legislative and congressional districts want to delay the state's May primary until July.

State lawmakers have voted to restore omissions in redistricting maps that left out about half a million voters.

Lawmakers voted mostly along party lines yesterday to pass bills that restored the missing census blocks. A software problem in the program used to draw the maps caused the issues. Republican representative David Lewis said debating these bills is completely unlike the heated discussions over drawing the maps earlier this year.

In Raleigh today, a group of civil rights and election watchdog organizations filed a legal challenge to newly drawn maps for North Carolina’s legislative and congressional seats. The suit is the second filed this week in Wake County Superior Court alleging the Republican-drawn maps segregate minority voters in order to dilute their statewide influence.

The North Carolina N-double-A-C-P has submitted a comment letter to the U.S. Department of Justice, asking it not to pre-clear the proposed redistricting maps drawn earlier this year in the General Assembly. Reverend William Barber heads the state's N-double-A-C-P. He says the maps pack black voters into a small number of districts to dilute their statewide influence.

North Carolina lawmakers have finalized new redistricting maps for the state senate and for 13 congressional districts. Jessica Jones reports the new boundaries are expected to benefit Republicans.

The GOP-drawn maps for the state House, state Senate and the U.S. Congress are now law. It's estimated the newly drawn Congressional map could get several more Republicans elected to Congress.

Many Democrats are opposed to the newly drawn boundaries, saying they crowd African-American voters into special districts so their vote won't have as much influence.

A state legislative committee has approved congressional and state Senate redistricting maps, which are redrawn every ten years.

The Republican-led committee approved the maps earlier today. But committee leaders got into testy exchanges with Democrats, who accuse Republicans of crowding African-American voters into more districts to dilute their statewide vote. Democratic Senate Leader Martin Nesbitt tried to get Republican Senator Bob Rucho, chair of the Redistricting committee, to admit to what's known as "packing."

State lawmakers have officially introduced new proposed congressional and legislative maps as part of the redistricting process.

Map Draws Ire, Praise

Jul 8, 2011

Every ten years, a state legislative committee draws up new maps for Congressional districts, as well as for state senate and representative.
And every ten years, those who draw up the maps call them fair, while their political opponents cry gerrymandering. It seems to happen here more than anywhere. Many analysts and political watchers call North Carolina the most gerrymandered state in the country.

People across the state will have a chance to speak out on the latest Congressional redistricting map. Public hearings are being held today in 7 locations.

Since it was released late Friday, the map has generated more than a little partisan political bickering. Republicans are calling it fair; Democrats say it’s gerrymandering at its worst. State Senator Bob Rucho is the chair of the legislative committee that drew the map. He says this redistricting process has been much more open than in years past.

North Carolina's newly proposed Republican-drawn congressional districts would make it challenging for several Democratic incumbents to keep their seats.

State lawmakers charged with redistricting will meet for the first time today.  State lawmakers redraw congressional and state legislative districts every ten years, after the US Census releases new data on population changes.

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