Quick-moving North Carolina redistricting suit trial begins this week
A fast-moving trial over North Carolina’s new voting maps kicked off Monday, with expert testimony establishing the state’s Republican lawmakers used 2021 voting maps to give themselves an advantage in state legislative and congressional elections.
The maps in question would give Republican candidates clear advantages in 10 of 14 congressional seats. Mathematicians, political scientists, and other expert testimonies have all pointed out what we know to be true: Voting maps drawn by the North Carolina General Assembly’s Republican majority were designed to help elect Republicans.
- “I find the enacted maps to be significantly skewed in a partisan way, in favor of Republicans,” Moon Duchin, a mathematician at Tufts University said.
- Experts also highlighted the history of Republicans using racialized anti-voter measures, such as extreme gerrymandering as shown in the current maps, which have “profoundly detrimental effects on Black North Carolinians’…equal opportunity[to] elect the candidates of their choice”.
- “The legislature that engaged in partisan gerrymandering in 2011, also crafted this redistricting plan,” stated Dr. James Leloudis, a Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill. “These are cut from the same cloth and crafted by the same tailors”.
- In addition to the blatant racial and partisan craftsmanship of the maps, an admission by House Rules Chairman Destin Hall yesterday underscores the lack of transparency within the redistricting process – with map-makers using “concept maps”, which have been conveniently destroyed, unseen by the public to draw parts of the new state House map.
- The testimony by the Republican lawmaker directly contradicts what promises he and fellow Republicans lawmakers told about the transparency of the redistricting process.
Historically, NC Republican lawmakers have repeatedly tried to give themselves unfair political advantages through racially-motivated gerrymandering that dilutes our communities’ voices and blocks us from having fair representation.
In recent days, experts have highlighted that the current maps play on the same tactics of old; giving Republicans an advantage over ensuring North Carolinians are being fairly represented in Congress and in the state legislature.
North Carolinians have made it clear that they want electoral maps that give everyone fair representation and reflect our communities as a whole.
It will be up to this panel of judges, and perhaps ultimately the NC Supreme Court to safeguard our elections from political gerrymandering, as seen in the latest maps, and protect North Carolinians interests.