When we let politicians draw their own districts, voters lose.
We need a citizens commission to draw our districts: voters should choose their politicians, not the other way around.
See how Gerrymandering Works--Great 2-minute video
Update on status of North Carolina redistricting reform
Dec. 30, 2019
The House Redistricting Committee is expected to take up at least 3 of the redistricting reform bills before it, but start date for active consideration remains unclear. Bills likely to be discussed include H69 (Reives-McGrady), H140 (McGrady-Reives), and H648 (Warren-Hanig), the bills with the broadest bipartisan support among the 5 House redistricting reform bills.
Bill basics: Who draws the maps: H69: commission; H140: legislative services office (staff); H648: special master with support from commission
Who approves the maps: All three bills: legislature, which can amend the map after voting down commission/legislative services office-drawn map (H69 & H140) or consider other maps (H648)
Other features: All three bills provide important improvements to the process, transparency, and criteria, H140 also includes a constitutional amendment on these points. H140 was developed by NC4RR, an independent group led by Judge Tom Ross and Rep. Chuck McGrady (R-Henderson).
What's next? Chairman Lewis has repeated his desire to move something forward when the legislature convenes in January with the aim of adopting a bill in time for the March primary (relevant for constitutional amendments only). Here's the committee website. No sign of action in the Senate, though. Read the bills here: H69 H140 H648
Harper v. Lewis: 14 individual plaintiffs, with support from the National Democratic Redistricting Committee’s foundation, challenged NC's Congressional districts in Wake Superior Court, as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. Following the granting of a preliminary injunction barring future use of the map, the legislature redrew and adopted a new Congressional map . What's the latest? The Wake Superior Court approved the new map adopted by the legislature, ending this case. The judges determined that it was too late to hear arguments on the new map, given the disruption to the elections that would result. The plaintiffs decided not to appeal this ruling, so this case is effectively over. See the new maps here. Analysts predict this map will lead to 8 GOP and 5 DEM Congresspeople. Following the change in the maps, three current Congressmen announced they will not run in 2020.
For more information: Find all the documents on the Brennan website or follow news reports in the Washington Post and Raleigh News & Observer (may be paywalled). The Wake Superior Court’s Cases of Public Interest page now has the Harper v Lewis materials posted (Common Cause v Lewis below that).
Common Cause v. Lewis: This case challenged the state legislative districts in state court. The court previously ruled that several county groupings in the NC House and Senate maps should be redrawn. The legislature complied with this order by submitting its maps on time.
What's the latest? Common Cause appealed 8 districts to the NC Supreme Court after the superior court had approved the legislature's redrawing and the process used, alleging that these districts were still impermissible gerrymanders. The Supreme Court did not agree to hear the appeal, however. Overall, experts indicate the House map is more or less 1/2 as gerrymandered as it was and the Senate maps about 1/3 as gerrymandered. The legislature has created a very complete set of maps showing both the new districts and historical districts here. This case is effectively concluded.
New legislative maps and congressional are now final and candidate filing is completed. The legislature will return Jan. 14. It remains to be seen if they will take up reform legislation--stay tuned!