North Carolina has long been a battleground state for Republicans and Democrats. And for many of its politicians, the same timeworn tool has plagued both parties. Gerrymandering, a term used to describe drawing voting districts to benefit whomever happens to be drawing the lines, dates back to 19th century Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry. Gerry was the first noted politician to shape a voting district in favor of himself so blatantly that one voter noted the shape of his district resembled a salamander, to which another voter replied, “No, it looks like a gerrymander,” and the term was born. The practice of gerrymandering for partisan purposes has been a tried and true weapon in the arsenal of political gain since the beginning of democratic elections. However, the practice of gerrymandering to disenfranchise minority groups was a ticking time bomb for North Carolina Republicans. Not to mention completely illegal.
The state of North Carolina has seen unprecedented growth since 2000. With statistics like a 25% growth in overall population since the start of the new millennium, and a two-fold increase in the Hispanic community, the demographical infrastructure of the state has been presented with a rate of growth unlike any neighboring state. Therefore, the racial diversity that has emerged has presented the Tarheel state with new issues and new platforms for politicians to run on.
And when new platforms emerge, politicians scramble.
In late July of 2017, three Federal judges ruled that GOP controlled North Carolina improperly drew two districts based on racial discrimination in 2010 and would have to redraw lines within 30 days. Leading the charge was former Democratic state legislator Margaret Dickson who was personally affected when she was uprooted from her long-time district of Senate 19 and placed in Senate 21. Her neighbors across the street still remain in Senate 19.
Full Article: North Carolina’s gerrymandering dilemma heats up – Salon.com.