North Carolina’s redistricting process continues to be disappointing – quite simply, the process has failed to meet the test of openness and transparency in our democracy. Earlier this summer, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed a lower court ruling that North Carolina’s district maps were unconstitutional on the grounds that race was considered in drawing the maps. In response, the N.C. General Assembly recently released its new redistricting map for state House and Senate districts. Public hearings were held two days later with statistical information selectively provided a day before the hearing. Before the Supreme Court’s ruling, the state made limited modifications to the 12th and the 1st Congressional districts, maintaining the state’s 10-3 Republican congressional delegation majority. The Supreme Court ruled that this revised Congressional map was unconstitutional.
What’s clear now is that state lawmakers are using redistricting to deny North Carolinians their full right to vote. The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy, and redistricting is an essential requirement to that right to vote and to have that vote fully valued.
Redistricting is required to ensure fair and equal representation. This process is used to establish or change the geographic boundaries from which representatives are elected, and based on the court’s decision and the subsequent process, redistricting should be developed by an independent commission.