Former U.S. attorney general calls North Carolina “ground zero” for partisan and racial gerrymandering

Last week, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder slated North Carolina as being the “ground zero for partisan and racial gerrymandering”.

From The News & Observer:

Expect more redistricting litigation in North Carolina backed by a national Democratic group that Eric Holder leads unless state Republicans accept anti-gerrymandering reforms this year, the former U.S. attorney general said Friday.

“And the only way, I think, to crack that which is happening in North Carolina is through the courts, and use those decisions to get a more fair congressional delegation from North Carolina,” said Holder, who under the presidency of Barack Obama was the first Black attorney general. 

Holder said he’s keeping close tabs on several states with histories of unconstitutional gerrymandering.

“No matter what political party you support, what policies you advocate, your voice will be stronger if politicians are required to be more responsive to your needs,” he said.

In North Carolina and 18 other states including Texas and Florida, Republicans hold total control of redrawing the congressional and legislative districts in the key battleground states, which are growing in population and expected to gain seats after the 2020 census is tabulated.

Historically, Republicans in North Carolina have tried to give themselves unfair advantages when redrawing districts and enacting suppressive voter laws to the detriment of communities across our state.

In 2018 and 2019, lawsuits challenging North Carolina congressional and legislative districts alleged that state lawmakers manipulated lines to maximize GOP seats. A state court found the state’s maps unconstitutional and ruled that the maps needed to be redrawn before the 2020 elections.

GOP leaders such as David Lewis and Tim Moore, have been documented in crafting the state’s racially-motivated gerrymandering that gave the GOP advantages in races for the U.S. Congress, N.C. General Assembly and the state legislature.

Redistricting is just one of many tools that Republican leaders are using to gain a political advantage. And as GOP state lawmakers across the country propose numerous voter suppression laws in an effort to rollback voting rights protections, we must demand the passage of voting rights legislation such as HR1, The “For the People Act” and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act in order to protect all of our voices.

Bottom Line: North Carolina deserves a just democracy and an electoral system that guarantees the right to vote, yet Republicans leaders have repeatedly shown that they will use their power to restrict ballot access by any means.

We must demand our representatives fight for the protections of our voting rights in order to ensure that all of our communities are heard at the ballot box. 

Alanna Joyner

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