New maps for electing members of the North Carolina House and Senate are ready for review by the judges who struck down the current maps. The General Assembly approved the maps Wednesday. Politicians from all corners of the state took advantage of their last chance to weigh in on the maps before final House and Senate votes, with Democrats taking up most of the speaking time to lodge a few final complaints to no avail. Rep. Deb Butler, a Democrat from Wilmington, acknowledged the Little League World Series team from Greenville who had spent the morning being applauded by legislators in between redistricting debates. She said the new maps are so unfair to Democrats that it would be as if the baseball team had to start every game down 6-0 and forced to bat with their non-dominant hands. She asked her Republican colleagues, who mostly supported the new maps, to reconsider their support. “The public, like those boys, expect nothing less than a level playing field,” Butler said. But in the end the maps passed both the House and Senate. Next stop: The judicial branch.
Instead of the typical process, in which the governor would have the chance to sign the proposal into law or veto it, the maps will skip over the governor’s desk and go straight to court. A panel of judges will review them; if they don’t approve of what they see, the judges themselves could create new maps for the state.
The votes in both chambers were mostly along party lines, although at least one Republican in the House voted no. Jonathan Jordan, from Ashe County, said he supports nonpartisan redistricting and also didn’t like how the Senate in particular treated his constituents in northwestern North Carolina.