In a time-crunched, court-ordered process, the North Carolina General Assembly recently redrew the state’s legislative district maps to be used in next year’s elections. A Wake County Superior Court had found the Republican-controlled legislature had gerrymandered dozens of House and Senate districts for extreme partisan advantage. The redrawn maps are now under court review.
While many people praised the court-ordered process as more transparent than past redistricting efforts in the state, many of those same people said it was still too partisan with lawmakers doing the redrawing. But with the 2020 Census and a new round of redistricting ahead, there’s no guarantee North Carolina will join a national trend towards independent redistricting.
If one party can use a temporary advantage in a redistricting year to make it into a lasting advantage that lasts for the entire decade, then it can control the policy-setting agenda for 10 years at a time. -Yurij Rudensky
Last year, voters in Ohio, Missouri, Colorado, Utah and Michigan – red and blue states – approved initiatives to rid the redistricting process of partisanship.
“All too often, unfortunately, when politicians draw the lines it’s the representatives choosing their voters,” said Prof. Justin Levitt, who teaches at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, and runs the web site All About Redistricting.