North Carolina

Articles about voting issues in North Carolina.

North Carolina: Grand jury indicts former Durham County elections worker Richard Robert Rawling of Cary | News & Observer

A Durham County grand jury has indicted Richard Robert Rawling of Cary, a former Durham County elections worker, on charges related to the mishandling of provisional-ballot results during the March 2016 primary election. The indictment was handed down on Monday on counts of obstruction of justice, which is is felony, and failure to discharge a duty of his office, which is a misdemeanor, the N.C. State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement said in a release. Rawling worked for the Durham County Board of Elections during the March 15 primary, before resigning later that month. The N.C. State Board of Elections opened an investigation into the election in April 2016. Read More

North Carolina: General Assembly releases House map | News & Observer

State lawmakers on Saturday released a new map showing how they want to redraw state House districts. The proposed map comes after courts ruled that 2011 election maps for the state House and Senate included unconstitutional racial gerrymanders. State Rep. David Lewis, a Harnett County Republican who co-chairs the legislature’s joint redistricting committee, said new Senate maps will likely be released on Sunday. Public hearings are scheduled for Tuesday and Lewis hopes the House will vote on his plan on Friday. “The next step is members of the General Assembly and interested members of the public can look at them and offer suggestions,” Lewis said in a phone interview Saturday. Read More

North Carolina: House proposes new legislative district map | Associated Press

Republican mapmakers proposed new districts for most members of the N.C. House on Saturday, a move forced by federal courts that said they illegally overemphasized race in drawing the current voting boundaries. The state House map released online was the first made public ahead of a statewide public hearing Tuesday. State legislators are expected to finalize new House and Senate district lines the following week. While Republicans control both chambers and can draw the boundaries to their liking, the new legislative maps will be reviewed by a three-judge panel of federal judges. They are not subject to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto. Republicans currently hold 74 of the 120 House seats and 35 of the 50 Senate seats. Not all districts had to be redrawn because of the 28 House and Senate districts found to be illegal. Detailed data about the districts, which could better project how many seats each party would be favored to win under the map, will be made public Monday. Read More

North Carolina: Preliminary Redrawing of North Carolina Districts Suggests Combining Two | Government Technology

Reps. Jean Farmer-Butterfield and Susan Martin could face off for a single N.C. House seat if new district maps follow a recently released framework. The General Assembly’s Redistricting Committee approved rules for redrawing state legislative districts last week. Farmer-Butterfield, who is a member of the committee, said the criteria was voted on based on recommendations from committee leadership.
If a preliminary redrawing of legislative districts is approved, Wilson County could go from having two state representatives to one, which would mean Farmer-Butterfield, a Wilson Democrat, could face Martin, a Wilson Republican, in a race to determine who will represent the county. Read More

North Carolina: Legislators OK redistricting rules. Democrats aren’t happy. | News & Observer

North Carolina’s legislative leaders adopted rules Thursday that they will use when drawing new election district lines, after 28 districts were ruled unconstitutional last year. The current lines were drawn in a way to unfairly disenfranchise black voters, federal courts found. While racial gerrymandering is illegal, the U.S. Supreme Court has so far allowed political gerrymandering, and one of the new rules is that legislators may consider past election results when drawing the new lines. Rep. David Lewis told a joint meeting of the House and Senate redistricting committees that the process “will be an inherently political thing.” Democrats opposed that rule, along with another one that says the new maps can be drawn in such a way to protect incumbents. “It just seems ridiculous to me that you get to say, ‘We will protect the incumbents elected using unconstitutional maps,’ ” House Minority Leader Rep. Darren Jackson, a Wake County Democrat, said. Read More

North Carolina: Redistricting criteria call for partisan maps, no consideration of race | WRAL

The last time Republicans had to redraw districts – in 2016, when courts found North Carolina’s congressional map unconstitutional – they included a required 10-3 Republican advantage in the map-making criteria. At the time, Lewis said he didn’t think an 11-2 map was possible. On Thursday, Lewis said he probably wouldn’t say it that way if he could go back, but he was trying to show the courts that race wasn’t the deciding factor in new maps – partisan politics was. Political gerrymanders are legal, although a Wisconsin case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court could change that. What the courts have forbidden is an over-emphasis on race when it comes to drawing lines. Read More

North Carolina: Redistricting picks up pace under new court mandated deadline | The North State Journal

The joint redistricting committee convened for the second time Friday, after having received further instruction from courts in the form of a Sept. 1 deadline for new legislative maps. With the hastened schedule, committee members offered suggestions for the use of specific criteria and also heard input from nearly 50 members of the voting public on what they think should guide the process. Key Democrats offered their criteria and commentary during a press conference preceding the meeting, arguing that while leaps in technology have made gerrymandering more effective, technology should also be used to ensure fair maps are drawn. “Attorneys defending the current maps said they’re serious about remedying this and creating a constitutional map, and we’re here today to help them create a constitutional map,” said Senate Democratic Leader Dan Blue (Wake). “Up to this point the actions taken by the [Republican] majority don’t instill a lot of faith in their sincerity in bringing these legislative maps in compliance with the law.” Read More

North Carolina: How North Carolina has outsourced redistricting | News & Observer

The legislature recently held a public hearing on a new redistricting plan it is developing, but it was hard to see it as anything more than a dog-and-pony show. While the General Assembly will ultimately vote on the new court-ordered plan, the real work has actually been outsourced to Washington, D.C. More precisely, the job has been given to the national Republican Party’s redistricting top gun – Tom Hofeller, the same person who designed the state’s heavily gerrymandered political maps in 2011. Read More

North Carolina: Legislative district maps set for August votes | News & Observer

North Carolina Republicans have begun to release details of their schedule for drawing new boundaries to correct legislative districts found unconstitutional by the federal courts. But they have not presented any maps to the public yet. The General Assembly, which met for what was expected to be a one-day legislative session on Thursday, is tentatively set to vote on new maps on Aug. 24 or 25, according to Rep. David Lewis, the state House member shepherding the redistricting process. Lewis, a Republican from Harnett County, and Sen. Ralph Hise, a Republican from Mitchell County who leads the Senate redistricting committee, announced this week that they are seeking public comments Friday at a 10:30 a.m. hearing on the criteria the committee should use to draw new maps. Read More

North Carolina: Elections rule would make false voter fraud reports a felony | The North State Journal

The North Carolina State Board of Elections held a public comment hearing Monday, soliciting input on a proposed rule that will make falsely reporting voter fraud a felony. The new rule would also require protesters to describe facts, reveal if a lawyer helped them make their claims, and say whether they have any witnesses to the alleged voter fraud. ”We all know laws are written by human beings, and sometimes they’re not very clear.” said Executive Director of the N.C. Republican Party Dallas Woodhouse, who opposes the rule change.  “This issue of protest is amazingly clear in the statute. It is written specifically how to do it and what is required of the voter. [The State Board of Elections] does not have the power to rewrite the statute. Read More