Lawmakers fail to incorporate transparency, openness in redistricting process
Earlier this month, a three-judge panel of the Wake County Superior Court ruled unanimously in the case of Common Cause v. Lewis that the General Assembly violated the state constitution when it gerrymandered legislative districts for partisan gain.
The court gave the legislature until Sept. 18 to draw new House and Senate districts, applying strict nonpartisan criteria and in full public view. Any newly drawn maps will be subject to review by the court.
Following the court ruling, the coalition of democracy advocates including Common Cause provided a list of recommendations for lawmakers to conduct a truly open and transparent process. Unfortunately, lawmakers did not follow these recommendations -- only the latest time the General Assembly has promised the court one thing and done another when it comes to redistricting.
- The map-making process has so far been marked by confusion, questions, and a lack of clarity. That’s not the process the court ordered, and not what will give voters confidence in its outcome.
- For nearly a decade, legislative Republicans have used their unfair advantages to run roughshod over our state’s government, looting state coffers to give enormous tax cuts to the wealthy, protecting polluters instead of public health, and systematically dismantling our once-great public education system. That ends now.
- Every single map which Republicans have drawn since taking control of the General Assembly in 2010 has been tainted by either racial or partisan gerrymandering -- and often both. There is no way the GOP majority can be trusted to draw fair maps now without strict public scrutiny.
- In recent years, North Carolina elections have been blatantly rigged through gerrymandering, to the detriment of communities across our state. We know there is a direct link between dirty, polluting corporations and the politicians who take their donations. North Carolina deserves a healthy democracy and a healthy environment for our families.
Now that new maps are being drawn, we demand transparency and the opportunity for the people to be heard. The courts must monitor this latest round of redistricting for the GOP shenanigans which are already happening. If necessary, the courts should take the redistricting process out of lawmakers’ hands so the 2020 elections will not be tainted by partisan trickery.