People from across North Carolina concerned about the new maps proposed to be used to elect General Assembly members in 2018 had few supportive words on Tuesday for the lawmakers who had them drafted. With votes on the maps scheduled for Friday in both the House and Senate, the legislative redistricting committee held public hearings on maps that were released over the weekend followed by supporting documents on Monday. On Tuesday, legislators were posted in Raleigh, Beaufort Community College, Halifax Community College, Fayetteville and Guilford County at hearings that were live-streamed through technology in which the sound sometimes was disrupted. Speaker after speaker described the maps as ones that will allow the elected officials to select their voters, instead of voters selecting their representatives in government.
“The right to vote is the most precious right we have,” said Eva Clayton, a former member of Congress and Democrat who was the first black woman to represent North Carolina in the U.S. House of Representatives. “Redistricting is a way to deny that. This is no more than a sham. If the process is flawed, then the product is flawed.”
Many speakers were critical of the redistricting committee’s use of Tom Hofeller, a veteran mapmaker for the Republican Party, to draw the new maps after the ones he drafted in 2011 included districts ruled unconstitutional by the federal courts.
Full Article: Redistricting: Public comments on NC maps | News & Observer.