Less than 36 hours before the ONLY opportunity for public comment on the proposed new legislative maps, the NC GOP finally released the correlating election data. We see why they don’t want the public to have time to see and understand these new maps. We compared the proposed maps to the current, unconstitutional ones: Of the sixteen GOP-held NC House districts FLIP NC had identified as the most "flippable" based on past election results, ELEVEN have been slanted more heavily for the GOP, while ONLY TWO were drawn more favorably for Democrats. (The other three were unchanged.)
Make no mistake: The NC GOP is actually trying to benefit from having drawn illegal racially biased maps in the first place – and the court order to redraw them. These lawmakers were elected under unconstitutional maps, and now they've used the most recent election results and data on demographic changes to try to preserve as many Republican-held districts as possible and limit competition.
Though the GOP can and will argue that TECHNICALLY they fixed the problem of overt racial gerrymandering, they have simply returned to a model of precise partisan gerrymandering no fairer than the model they used to draw the illegal maps. This is an arrogant, cynical attempt to adhere to the court’s ruling while blatantly disregarding the spirit of the order to draw districts that would result in fair representation for all NC citizens. These new proposed maps are actually more favorable to the GOP than the current ones, and they do nothing to address the fact that the current legislature was elected based on unconstitutional maps.
This is a clear attempt by the NC GOP to cement their illegal supermajority – and one that the Court should reject for a number of reasons. Most flagrantly, they have reached well beyond the areas affected by racial gerrymandering and redrawn many districts that were completely unaffected by the Court ruling. The Court ordered the NC GOP to address a narrow set of districts it determined had been racially gerrymandered with “near-surgical precision,” and the NC GOP has used the Court's order as a chance to re-draw much of the legislative map in its favor.
The NC GOP has shown time and again that they have no interest in drawing fair maps. The future of North Carolina’s democracy depends on all citizens making their voices heard and demanding that the power to draw legislative maps be removed from the legislature.
These maps are not final. The court can reject them and order a special master to redraw the maps. There will be public forums at several locations across the state, including Raleigh (Legislative Office Building, 300 N. Salisbury Street, Room 643), TODAY at 4pm. This is the only scheduled opportunity for public comment on the proposed maps. We need to show up and make our voices heard!
Please share this post to help get the word out to as many folks as possible. We need fair maps to restore a functioning democracy to our state. It is absolutely critical that we speak out over the next several weeks as the Court process plays out.