When it comes to redistricting in 2023, the only thing that Republican leaders in the NC General Assembly (NCGA) have been transparent about is their intent to skew Congressional and legislative maps to partisan advantage, using gerrymandered maps to secure their hold on power instead of creating voting districts that reflect the needs of communities and the will of voters.
Legislators are now working on new maps in secret, with no attempt at even token transparency. Republicans even slipped into the budget that passed on September 22 (without the Governor’s signature) a new provision that the public is no longer entitled to see draft maps or have access to legislators’ notes and communications about the redistricting process.
They need to know we are watching. They need to hear from the people that we demand transparency and that we expect fair maps in the end.
Thanks to public pressure, the NCGA has now established an online portal for public comments on redistricting, at https://www.ncleg.gov/RequestForComments/45.
Why is submitting your comments crucial? Simply put, this is our best tool for documenting North Carolinians’ demands for fair maps. The state Supreme Court has essentially given Republicans a green light for partisan gerrymandering, so we can’t depend on judicial oversight to hold them in check. Republicans have postponed drawing maps until just a few weeks before candidate filing deadlines, so there’s little to no time for pressure to make changes after the maps are revealed.
However, every public comment becomes part of the public record. So it’s critical that everyone speak up NOW.
Legislators have said new voting maps could be released and pushed through as early as the week of October 9.We have no idea how long the online portal will remain active.
Voting belongs to the people, not politicians! Speak up this week and tell the NCGA to:
- Follow an inclusive and fully transparent redistricting process
- Keep existing communities together: don’t dilute people’s voices by splitting or packing communities
- Create voting plans that reflect the actual demographics and interests of voters
- Draw voting districts that fairly represent the will of the people
Take action NOW with this easy online form. 💨
NOTE: NC Sen. Warren Daniel, representing the eastern section of Buncombe County, is a Co-Chair of the Senate Committee. You can reach him directly at Warren.Daniel@ncleg.gov.