A coalition of organizations called again on Wednesday for an independent redistricting process aimed at removing politics from the drawing of legislative and congressional maps in North Carolina. While the effort has failed several times in the past, advocates say the uncertainty surrounding the latest legal complication might lead to more bipartisan support. On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily halted a lower court’s order that the state redraw what it called racially gerrymandered maps and hold new elections in them. For now, that leaves unresolved the question of whether new maps and new elections will be required. A special election would mean some legislators would serve one-year instead of two-year terms.
Previous efforts at independent redistricting have failed because there is little incentive for the political party in power to risk giving up their seats, organizers said.
In 2015, a bill to end gerrymandered districts passed the House but was killed in the Senate.
At a news conference in the legislative building held by more than a dozen organizations, Jane Pinsky of the N.C. Coalition for Lobbying & Government Reform said the multiple lawsuits that have stemmed from redistricting have cost the state millions and that districts drawn to favor a single party have limited the number of candidates voters can choose among.