For information on our Redistricting Reform program, including upcoming events, media contacts, and how to get involved, please contact bremer.jennifer [at] gmail.com (Jennifer Bremer).
Regular meetings are continuing to be put on pause until the next round of redistricting starts. We’re now expecting that the Congressional, State Senate, and probably the State House maps will all be redrawn in time for candidate filing in December. Timing is uncertain: the legislature will in all likelihood wait for the US and NC Supreme Courts to rule on the cases before them before starting work on new maps. A ruling on the federal case is expected in June, but could be earlier, while the ruling on the state case could come any time. Once the timing is set, we will need to get involved by attending the hearings and pushing for an open process with fair criteria, as well as monitoring the redrawing. Check our Calendar for meeting updates.
FAIR ELECTIONS UPDATE
- 10/2/2022 Redistricting Update: Redistricting battles continue in North Carolina! We also should have more news soon on just when the US Supreme Court will take up Moore v Harper, the legislature's appeal of the Common Cause case. This appeal could upend democratic protections as we know them by taking state courts completely out of federal elections, based on a fringe concept called the "independent legislature theory." The Supreme Court will convene its new session Oct. 3 and should announce its schedule for major cases around that time.
- 3/26/2022 Redistricting Update: Redistricting Has (Almost) Wrapped Up, but a Likely US Supreme Court Case Could Be Disastrous for Our Democracy. The “independent legislature doctrine”: the most important issue you probably never heard of! Read More...
- 3/1/2022 Reistricting Update: Just when it seemed that we would sail smoothly off to the filing period, and the primaries, the NC Lgislative leaders appealed the NC Supreme Court decision on the congressional map to the federal Supreme Court. They are arguing that the state courts do not have the authority to redraw the congressional map because the US Constitution says that said map-drawing authority resides with the legislature (as does the NC Constitution). Read more...
- 2/24/22 Candidate filing resumes Thursday, February 24, with new N.C. House and Senate maps and a new Congressional map, as the state Supreme Court rejects appeals. Read more on Yahoo News
- 2/17/22 The NC legislature on Thursday, Feb. 17, completed new redistricting plans that Republicans contend will meet fairness directives of state justices who struck down previously approved maps as illegal partisan gerrymanders that penalized Democrats. Read more on Yahoo News. The maps must be adopted by February 23.
- 2/4/22 NC Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Common Cause and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice. The LWVNC wishes to congratulate Common Cause and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, as the NC Supreme Court has announced its ruling in the redistricting trial. The Court, in a 4 to 3 decission, ruled on Feb. 2, 2022 that the maps enacted last year by the state legislature are “unconstitutional beyond a reasonable doubt.” The ruling gives the legislature until February 18 to draw new maps. They must be adopted by February 23. You can read the 20-page opinion here. A longer opinion will be issued later. For more information, see coverage from the News and Observer and WRAL: NC Supreme Court Strikes Down New Voting Maps. and WRAL: NC's Constitution Doesn't Promise 'Fair' Elections.
The lawsuit, brought by SCSJ on behalf of Common Cause NC, protested the General Assembly's decision not to use race-related data and not analyze racially polarized voting. The Court held against the General Assembly as follows: "The General Assembly must assess whether racially polarized voting is legally sufficient in any area of the state such that Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act requires the drawing of districts to avoid diluting the voting strength of African American voters.
- 1/3/22 The three lawsuits, challenging the heavily gerrymandered maps passed by the legislature, have been bundled together and the trial is scheduled for this week. While the legal process proceeds, the best thing we can do to promote fair elections in North Carolina is to be sure that as many people as possible are ready andable to vote.
Registering voters in public locations is one of the best ways to further this objective. In addition to registering new voters or updating existing registrations, voter registration offers a chance to educate voters on upcoming elections, inform them about Vote411, answer questions and remind them of how important it is to participate in off-year elections (and every election!).
- 12/7/21 The NC Supreme Court ruled on December 7th. that NC's 2022 primary election must be delayed — as gerrymandering lawsuits play out that could lead to redrawn districts. For more information, read the News & Observer article: NC’s 2022 primary election delayed in court fight over maps.
This delay includes filing for rescheduled municipal contests, and any separate filing period in January for those contests. The Supreme Court also pushed the date of the primary and rescheduled municipal elections back more than two months – to Tuesday, May 17, 2022. It had been scheduled for March 8. Read the NC Supreme Court Ruling.
Per the NC Board of Elections: For any candidate whose filing has been accepted by the State Board of Elections or any county board of elections, that candidate “will be deemed to have filed for the same office” in the May primary, subject to any court rulings that would impact that candidate’s eligibility, according to the Supreme Court order.
Those candidates would be able to withdraw their candidacy during the new filing period. Any individual who withdraws their candidacy is free to file for any other office for which they are eligible during the reopened filing period.
Dates for a new filing period have not been set. Candidate filing had begun on Monday at the N.C. State Fairgrounds for state- and federal-level contests and at all 100 county boards of elections for local contests. As of Wednesday evening, more than 1,400 candidates had filed statewide.
The LWVNC Fair Districts webinar is traditionally held on the 4th Wednesday of the month. Please check our LWV NC Calendar for up-to-date information on our webinars and Zoom link. Webinars are recorded and you can view past webinars here.
The LWVNC Fair Districts webinar is traditionally held on the 4th Wednesday of the month. Webinars are recorded and you can view past webinars here. Join us to hear about the NC fair maps and redistricting criteria bills. A registration link will be provided closer to the events.
The LWVNC Redistricting Reform Team regularly hosts this webinar. The topic may address what is happening in the North Carolina legislature, Supreme Court cases, experiences of groups in other states in their efforts to achieve fair districts, etc. Join us as often as you can to stay informed and learn how you can help get Reasonable Redistricting Reform in NC!
Note: People who call in will be able to hear everything, but it will be a better experience if you link by computer to view the PowerPoint presentation. PS: Mark your calendars and plan to attend these monthly webinars. Check the Calendar for Webinars.
This video series features LWVNC board member Jennifer Bremer as she outlines the redistricting process in North Carolina and warns about the dangers of gerrymandering.
- Video 1: What Is Redistricting? And Why Does It Matter?
- Video 2: What's Gerrymandering? And Is It Really That Bad?
- Video 3: Is There a Better Way to Draw Our Districts?
- Video 4: Can NC Get Reform in Time for This Year's Redistricting?
- LWVUS Redistricting webpage. Information, updates, and resources.