URGENT: Act Now to Stop Gerrymandered Maps

Just a few days ago the Republican-led Redistricting Committee released some very bad gerrymandered maps for North Carolina’s Congressional Districts and State House and Senate Districts. These maps will likely be voted on within the next week. It is CRUCIAL that everyone submit public comments objecting to the proposed maps ASAP.

Public comments become part of the public record and are used to justify changes should the courts have to intervene. This has happened many times over the past 10 years. We’ve seen that public comments documenting what voters want and what’s best for communities DO make a difference.


  1. Write out specific comments on any or all of the proposed maps. (See maps and specific talking points below.)
  2. Be sure to include the map number when referencing a specific map.
  3. Give your specific concerns related to where you live. State how the proposed map(s) would affect your community. Focus on what does or does not make sense to you in a proposed map, and why. State what you want them to do instead and why that’s important.
  4. Submit your written comments via the online portal: https://www.ncleg.gov/requestforcomments/38
  5. Share this Action Alert with friends and ask them to do the same! Here’s a short link to share: bit.ly/4fmRD


The nonpartisan Princeton Gerrymandering Project has graded all of the proposed redistricting maps on Partisan Fairness, Competitiveness, and Geographic Features, and every one of the North Carolina maps drawn by Republican committee chairs received an overall grade of F – their draft Congressional maps and the only draft State House and State Senate maps that have been proposed. Notably, the only Congressional maps that didn’t get an F grade from Princeton actually scored an overall grade of A – and all three of these A-rated maps were drawn by Democrats (see Map CST-6 by Senate Democratic Whip Jay Chaudhuri, and CBK-4 and CBK-5 by Senate Democratic Caucus secretary Ben Clark).  If you want to look more closely at the Princeton grades, a good place to start is this excellent summary sheet.

Legislative Maps: State House

The proposed maps for state legislative districts are blatant gerrymanders.

Looking just at Buncombe County in the State House maps, the proposed changes are egregious. Buncombe County is currently represented by Susan Fisher (District 114), John Ager (District 115), and Brian Turner (District 116), with the following district lines:

Now look at the district lines they want to impose:

What’s wrong with this map:

  • Even without seeing the numbers behind the shapes, it looks like somebody was manipulating this map for nefarious purposes: The finger-lake squigglies in the outline of District 116 are typical gerrymandering tentacles. How is this district justified on non-partisan grounds?
  • The changes don’t follow coherent community divisions within the county. Where we currently have three segments marking out northeast, eastern, and southwest sections of the country, the new map doesn’t follow natural community lines.
  • The changes are abrupt. Why was 116 moved from the southwest corner of the county to a central-northeast section?
  • Overall, this map was given a Princeton grade of F for partisan fairness, demonstrating “significant Republican advantage,” and is unacceptable.

Legislative Maps: State Senate

The draft State Senate map is even worse. For years, most of Buncombe County has been in District 49, currently represented by Sen. Julie Mayfield. An eastern portion of Buncombe County has been included in District 48, which has included all of Henderson and Transylvania Counties, currently represented by Sen. Chuck Edwards.

The NEW map, however, carves out a huge swath of Buncombe County — even the northern and northwestern part of the county — and moves it EAST into District 47 with all of McDowell and Burke Counties:

This makes absolutely no sense — unless the goal is to dilute the voices of voters in Buncombe County.

What’s wrong with this map:

  • The obvious intent is to dilute the voices of voters in Buncombe County. Buncombe’s population has grown over the decade, so the district lines do need to be readjusted to equalize population across districts. But voters with similar geographic and community concerns should not be siphoned off to a different area with different geographic and community concerns. To do so only limits those voters’ power to obtain fair representation. For example, what does Weaverville have in common with Morganton? How are Montreat’s concerns related to Marion’s? Pulling out voters from one coherent area and dropping them into an area where they don’t really belong is a blatant attempt to dilute voters’ voices.
  • Coherent ways of modifying district lines have been ignored. For example, the Candler area of west Buncombe County shares much in common with adjacent Haywood County to the west, as does the Arden-Fletcher area of south Buncombe with parts of Henderson County. But those logical divisions have been ignored. And this is not limited to Buncombe:
    • Looking further, we see parts of Haywood County sliced off and moved into District 47 – for what purpose?
    • And looking eastward at the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton metropolitan area, we see that each of these has been separated out into different districts: Morganton is in Burke (47), Lenoir is in Caldwell (46), and Hickory is in Catawba (43), although it actually has boundaries extending into Burke and Caldwell.
  • Overall, this map was given a Princeton grade of F for partisan fairness, demonstrating “significant Republican advantage,” and is unacceptable.

Congressional Maps

Now for the funny stuff.

First, here’s our current Congressional map, showing Western North Carolina in District 11:

Because of population growth, North Carolina is gaining a new Congressional district, for a total of 14 districts. The Republican chairs of the state Senate and House Redistricting Committee have drawn three different Congressional maps that add a new district and shift current districts to equalize population. All three proposed Congressional maps are basically the same for Western North Carolina (ignore the different choices of color and numbering):

Although these are F-graded maps overall, the Western North Carolina section is actually not bad in terms of cohesiveness and competitive advantage.

But do you see the funny part? In all three maps, there’s a squiggle in Watauga County that’s pulled out and dropped into an adjacent district: That happens to be where Republican Congresswoman Virginia Foxx lives. Pulling her home base into a different district saves her from having to run in a primary against Madison Cawthorn. Obvious partisan manipulation to protect an incumbent.

What’s wrong with these maps:

  • They intentionally manipulate the map in favor of Republicans. In a purple state, where roughly half the votes cast are for Democrats and roughly half are for Republicans, we should see a more or less 50-50 balance in partisan representation. A fair  map would reflect the competitive nature of our state. But the maps proposed by the Republican redistricting chairs have been drawn in a way to secure 9 or more safe Republican seats out of 14. One map even creates a minimum of 12 out of 14. This is blatant partisan gerrymandering, and it is simply unacceptable.
  • They’re drawn for incumbent advantage. All three proposed maps manipulate Watauga County to advantage Republican incumbent Virginia Foxx.
  • They favor politicians over people. The 2020 Census data indicates that most of the population growth in North Carolina occurred in the Research Triangle and metro Charlotte areas. A new district should reflect the areas of highest population growth, yet all of the submitted Republican maps anchor the new congressional district in rural Cleveland County, which saw a population LOSS. Cleveland County happens to be the home of Republican House Speaker, Tim Moore, who is rumored to be considering a run for U.S. Congress.

As State House Rep. Brian Turner so clearly summed up, “Fair districts keep elected officials accountable to voters. Gerrymandered districts leave voters out in the cold and they have no place in a democracy. Plain and simple, politicians should not draw maps.” Unfortunately, that’s what we’re dealing with in our state right now, so our job is to hold those politicians’ feet to the fire and demand that they redraw these outrageously gerrymandered maps.

Stand up and speak out today! Submit your public comments now at: https://www.ncleg.gov/requestforcomments/38

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To print or download any of the maps:


Current (2019-2020) Court-Ordered State Senate Map

Proposed 2022 Gerrymandered State Senate Map (SST-4)


Current (2019-2020) Remedial State House Map

Proposed 2022 Gerrymandered State House Map (HBK-11)


Current (2020) Congressional Map

Proposed 2022 Congressional Map (CMT-9)

Proposed 2022 Congressional Map (CBK-3)

Proposed 2022 Congressional Map (CST-2)

You can also view all of the proposed maps here.