As Redistricting Gets Underway, NDRC Calls For Fair Maps Accurately Reflecting North Carolina’s Population And Voters


Fabiola Rodriguez

U.S. Census Bureau today released data that enables North Carolina lawmakers to start drawing new congressional and legislative maps

U.S. Census Bureau today released data that enables North Carolina lawmakers to start drawing new congressional and legislative maps

Raleigh, NC – Following today’s release of population data by the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC) is calling on North Carolina lawmakers to enact fair maps that accurately reflect the state’s population changes as well as the will of the voters. In 2020, despite winning just half of the congressional vote statewide, Republicans won nearly two thirds of the seats. The new redistricting data, which enables state lawmakers to start the map drawing process, is expected be used by the Republican-controlled state legislature to gerrymander their party to power in the House of Representatives and General Assembly.

“North Carolina is a true swing state and the state’s legislative and congressional maps should mirror the will of voters with both parties able to win roughly half of the State House, Senate, or congressional seats in any given election year. In addition, the new 14th congressional district should be reflective of where population growth has been highest, and be anchored in the Research Triangle area. Unfortunately, it seems as though Republican lawmakers are planning to use this new data to gerrymander Democrats out of power and dilute the votes of minority communities,” said NDRC North Carolina State Director Lekha Shupeck. “Recent litigation has been clear: partisan gerrymandering is unconstitutional in North Carolina. With that in mind, NDRC is prepared to do everything in our power – including challenging bad maps in court – to ensure there are fair maps where both parties must compete to win the support of North Carolinians at the polls.”

North Carolina’s voters are closely split among Democrats, Republicans, and unaffiliated, but because of partisan gerrymandering, the state’s congressional delegation leans heavily Republican. The congressional map drawn by Republican lawmakers following the 2010 Census was one of the most egregiously gerrymandered in the country. In 2016, Republican lawmakers redrew North Carolina’s congressional map so brazenly that it split North Carolina A&T State University – a historically black university – into two separate congressional districts to dilute the votes of students there.

In 2019, courts forced lawmakers to redraw both the congressional and state legislative maps because they were partisan gerrymanders in violation of the North Carolina Constitution. But they are still biased in favor of the GOP. In 2020, Republicans won 51 percent of the congressional vote statewide, but hold 8 of 13 U.S. House seats. Similarly, in the State House, Republicans won 50 percent of the vote statewide in 2020, but hold 18 more seats than Democrats in the 120-seat chamber.

“North Carolinians will only get a fair map by demanding a fair process for drawing it,” added Shupeck. “Public hearings need to be held in every region of the state both before and after maps are proposed. We have no indication of what the hearing schedule will look like. In 2011, 62 public hearings were held – anything less should be considered unacceptable.”

NDRC will continue to fight for fair congressional and legislative maps that are responsive to North Carolina voters and competitive for both major political parties. A fair map should mirror the will of the voters, respect communities of interest, avoid splitting political subdivisions such as counties, towns, and precincts; and not dilute the representation of people of color.