A new gerrymandering lawsuit calls for a court order requiring voting districts for the state House and Senate be redrawn before the 2020 elections. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Wake County by good-government group Common Cause, the North Carolina Democratic Party and 22 voters from across the state, follows the path of another Common Cause lawsuit in which federal courts have twice found that Republican lawmakers illegally gerrymandered North Carolina’s congressional districts for partisan advantage. “Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly have egregiously rigged the state legislative district lines to guarantee that their party will control both chambers of the General Assembly regardless of how the people of North Carolina vote,” the lawsuit states. “This attack on representative democracy and North Carolinians’ voting rights is wrong. It violates the North Carolina Constitution. And it needs to stop.”
… Federal courts two years ago tossed the legislative district maps drawn in 2011, ruling that lawmakers put too much emphasis on the race of voters when laying down the lines for more than two dozen districts.
Lawmakers decided to ignore race completely when they redrew the map, choosing to focus on how people voted in recent elections as one of their criteria. But the lawsuit alleges that the new districts, which were drawn by a consultant on his personal computer, unfairly favored Republicans.
Independent analysts determined that the new House and Senate maps were more partisan for the GOP than under almost any other map that could have been drawn, according to the lawsuit. Despite North Carolina voters being fairly evenly split on statewide elections in recent years, the suit added, that new maps pretty much guaranteed Republicans would maintain a veto-proof majority in the General Assembly.