Last week, North Carolina’s Supreme Court justices reviewed lawsuits challenging Republican-drawn congressional and state legislative district maps and found, in a 4-3 ruling, that the maps were unconstitutionally gerrymandered. We wrote about the court’s ruling for the web, and ran an op-ed in print from state Senator Natalie Murdock, who made a compelling case that Republican math doesn’t add up in terms of the state’s demographics and how that translates to the newly drawn, freshly struck down district maps. Our readers have thoughts.
“So long as a line can be drawn, this will keep happening,” wrote Facebook commenter Christopher Boyce in response to Murdock’s piece. “While this is being fought in NC through the courts, states elsewhere have passed fixes via referenda only to see the party in power ignore it or work its loopholes to keep gerrymandering. How about doing away with districts altogether and replacing them with a proportional system?”
“The drawing of districts should not be drawn by politicians. Period.,” wrote commenter Matt Cuskelly.
“Redistricting is an administrative act, divide the districts so each has the same population,” wrote Facebook commenter Erv Portman, a candidate for North Carolina’s 21st state House district. “Cities and counties do it every decade with no drama or lawsuits, why because they don’t cheat and try to tip the balance of power to favor one side. The statewide solution is either elect leaders who value representative democracy over partisan games or take the power away from the elected and give it to an independent oversight body with performance checks to make sure the final maps reflect the makeup of the voters. Either solves this for good.”
We also got this email from our INDY Daily newsletter reader, and frequent responder on the topic of gerrymandering, Sheldon Hayer: “The political party in majority, will draw the map in their favor. This is true in any state. Get over it, when Democrats are in control the next time, they will be more then happy to have a map promoting the election of Democrats.
Here is the end result of redistricting congressional seats. Members of Congress will continue to line their pockets with perks, and increase their private wealth.
Stop complaining and run for Congress. Fleecing the taxpayers is the only game in town.”
Cynical, but true? We’ll be following what happens with redistricting—and what that means for our upcoming elections—very closely.
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