From The News And Observer: Fair redistricting is fundamental to voting rights
The new maps have been drawn and submitted to the court. It's clear, state lawmakers are using extreme partisan gerrymandering to silence the voices of minorities in North Carolina. We no longer live in a democracy where each person has a fair and equal vote. When representatives choose their constituents, they no don't have to answer to the people. When legislative races are assured and uncontested there is no motivation to please the electorate and minority voices are completely silenced.
From The News And Observer
North Carolina’s redistricting process continues to be disappointing – quite simply, the process has failed to meet the test of openness and transparency in our democracy. Earlier this summer, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed a lower court ruling that North Carolina’s district maps were unconstitutional on the grounds that race was considered in drawing the maps. In response, the N.C. General Assembly recently released its new redistricting map for state House and Senate districts. Public hearings were held two days later with statistical information selectively provided a day before the hearing.
Before the Supreme Court’s ruling, the state made limited modifications to the 12th and the 1st Congressional districts, maintaining the state’s 10-3 Republican congressional delegation majority. The new maps have been challenged as extreme partisan gerrymanders and a trial is expected later this year.
What’s clear now is that state lawmakers are using redistricting to deny North Carolinians their full right to vote. The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy, and redistricting is an essential requirement to that right to vote and to have that vote fully valued.
Redistricting is required to ensure fair and equal representation. This process is used to establish or change the geographic boundaries from which representatives are elected, and based on the court’s decision and the subsequent process, redistricting should be developed by an independent commission.
Moreover, given the sacredness of the ballot box to uphold our democratic values, redistricting should be fair, transparent, and not dictated by partisan politics. The current elected officials shouldn’t choose their voters. Instead, the voters should choose their elected representatives.