North Carolina’s Redistricting Fight
North Carolina Republican lawmakers used the last legislative session to double-down on their gerrymandered maps, packing and splitting communities apart to keep districts safe for favored incumbents. Amid a rushed and inaccessible redistricting process, the new maps give the GOP a clear advantage — placing 10 out of 14 congressional seats in favor of the Republican Party.
Given the blatant racial and partisan gerrymandering within the new congressional map, several lawsuits are pending to challenge the new legislative lines.
- This isn’t the first time Republicans have drawn maps for their own advantage. During the 2010s, the state had two maps thrown out in court due to racial and partisan gerrymandering.
- Following the initial map in 2011, courts ruled in 2016 that the state’s map had been racially gerrymandered to disadvantage Black voters in the state, a decision that was upheld by the Supreme Court. In 2019, a North Carolina court panel threw out the state’s 2016 map because it was ruled a partisan gerrymander that gave Republicans an advantage.
- Once again, Republicans have passed maps to maintain power and excuse blatantly discriminatory maps, causing various leaders including a bipartisan group of former governors from around the country to call out the “manipulated and rigged system”.
- “The Legislature handed us a map that’s an extreme political gerrymander and an extreme racial gerrymander,” Representative G.K. Butterfield stated last week. “It’s unconscionable, and it’s unconstitutional”.
From the national to the local level, partisan gerrymandering has the power to stop policies that put the interests of the people first. Simply put, gerrymandering undermines democracy and directly impacts our communities futures by allowing politicians to pick their voters instead of us picking our leaders.
As states across the country continue to draft and enact congressional maps for the next decade, blatantly gerrymandered maps coming out of states like North Carolina and Ohio make it clear: Republicans will gladly dilute and deprive communities across the state of effective representation in order to retain their power.
Beyond legal challenges, together, we must continue to urge U.S. Senators to pass federal legislation to protect our freedom to vote, and hold politicians accountable at the ballot box who have benefited from this anti-democratic redistricting process.