16 Reasons Racial Gerrymandering in North Carolina Must Be Overturned Now

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Voters should choose their elected officials – instead here in North Carolina Republican legislators are dividing our state in order to choose their voters. Here's a list of reasons why lawmakers need to draw fair districts. 

  1. These maps are the most cynical kind of politics. They meticulously divide the state along racial lines, dividing communities that have a proven record of working together towards common goals.  
  2. The Voting Rights Act was established to protect minority voters, these maps not only undermine that intent, they effectively marginalize minority voters. 
  3. When redistricting processes are controlled by legislators then political concerns will play a role. This plan, however, is more than just partisan politics. This plan segregates African-American voters rather than building African-American into the fabric of North Carolina. When you segregate the electorate by race you change the politics of the state for the worse. 
  4. District 1 and District 12 had both historically elected African-Americans by comfortable margins. There was no legal justification for increasing the African-American percentage in these districts above 50% and it is clear that packing black voters into these districts was the primary goal of the plan – meaning that race was the most important factor in their creation.  
  5. These districts move us back to a day of segregation that most of us thought we had moved away from. 
  6. The net result of this redistricting plan is that it doesn’t improve African-American election prospects at all because they were already winning. What it does is it minimizes the influence of African-Americans in surrounding districts. 
  7. In the recent Supreme Court ruling regarding redistricting in Alabama the court found that Alabama’s plans were illegal because they misapplied the Voting Rights Act and used race as the primary consideration rather than looking at what percentage’s were needed to elect the minority candidate’s candidate of choice. The North Carolina plan follows the exact same flawed thinking. 
  8. The fact that some absentee ballots have been requested and submitted does not outweigh the damage done by holding a third election on an unconstitutional map. 
  9. Ensuring our elections are constitutional should be the primary goal – certainly it is one worth dealing with a few administrative problems to meet.  
  10. If the Republican majority had not abruptly and unnecessarily moved up the election a few months ago, then candidate filing would not even be closed yet. 
  11. This redistricting plan was drawn at Republican Party Headquarters by an outside political operative.
  12. Voters need to have faith in the process in order to have faith in their government. 
  13. These public hearings are extremely important. They were announced after 5pm on a Friday and scheduled for 10am on the following Monday. This is not a real effort to collect feedback. 
  14. The map drawing process should be public record. As a result, any plan should be drawn at the General Assembly on a state computer to increase transparency. 
  15. Any consultant involved in the drawing of maps should be made available in Committee meetings so that the public can have a full understanding of his or her role and intent in creating the maps.  
  16. Republican leadership should disclose today every cent of taxpayer money that has been spent on consultants to draw maps and outside attorneys to advice on updated plans.

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