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SLAY THE DRAGON follows everyday people, outraged by what they see as an attack on the core democratic principle that every person’s vote should count equally. This election year, we’re joining together with grassroots partners to put an end to gerrymandering. Because this issue impacts each state differently, we’ve created a map to help you navigate how gerrymandering affects your state and community. SLAY THE DRAGON arrives on demand April 3.

 

GET CAUGHT UP

Click on your state in the map above to find out what’s going on and how you can help.

Over the next three months, we will be working with Voters Not Politicians in Michigan and other partners to protect votes across the country.

Slay the Dragon Logo

SLAY THE DRAGON follows everyday people, outraged by what they see as an attack on the core democratic principle that every person’s vote should count equally. This election year, we’re joining together with grassroots partners to put an end to gerrymandering. Because this issue impacts each state differently, we’ve created a map to help you navigate how gerrymandering affects your state and community. SLAY THE DRAGON arrives on demand April 3.

 

GET CAUGHT UP
North Carolina

Process

North Carolina's state legislative and congressional districts are drawn by the state Legislature by ordinary statute. Unlike most states, the resulting plans are not subject to the Governor's veto. These plans must be approved by December 6, 2021, the candidate filing deadline for the 2022 primaries.

In addition to the federal requirements of one person, one vote and the Voting Rights Act, North Carolina law requires that state legislative and congressional districts be compact, contiguous, preserve political subdivisions, and preserve communities of interest. Using racial data is prohibited.

In 2011, the General Assembly held public hearings from April 28 to May 9. Without a change in the law, a similar timeline is likely. Following the recent state court cases, it is possible that the redistricting process will be more transparent, but there is no specific mandate for such an outcome.

Issues

North Carolina is one of the most extremely gerrymandered states in the nation. Although current congressional and state legislative maps have been redrawn as a result of federal racial-gerrymandering lawsuits, a strong pro-Republican bias remains. Before 2010, the Congressional map had a strong pro-Democratic bias.

  • A Supreme Court decision (Rucho v. Common Cause) left the current congressional map in place and set a precedent against federal intervention in partisan gerrymandering.

  • A case in state court (Common Cause v. Lewis), concerning state legislative districts, ruled that 77 state legislative districts were unconstitutional partisan gerrymanders. Following a remedial linedrawing process, the Court accepted the General Assembly's remedial maps, which redrew these 77 districts. The process likely included inherent Republican bias, which PGP explained in an amicus brief. The plaintiffs filed a petition for discretionary review, but it was denied by the NC Supreme Court. They elected not to appeal the case, leaving the remedial maps in tact for 2020. Lastly, this case also gave rise to questions over the confidentiality of the files of Dr. Thomas Hofeller, and the Court lifted the confidentiality order on these files in many states on Nov. 4, 2019.

  • Another case was brought in state court (Harper v. Lewis) challenging the congressional map under the state constitution, relying largely upon the extensive record from Rucho v. Common Cause. The court issued a preliminary injunction, preventing the map from being used in 2020, on similar grounds as in Common Cause v. Lewis. The General Assembly proactively drew a remedial map, which the Harper plaintiffs challenged. Due to the time constraint of the 2020 primary, the N.C. Superior Court upheld the map, recognizing that the districts and the process were not perfect. Our own analysis noted the partial successes and lessons arising from the congressional redraw.

In the N.C. General Assembly, six different bills have been introduced to change the redistricting process. Of these, H69 would set up an independent commission, public hearings, and prohibit partisan bias in maps. H140, on the other hand, lacks the hallmarks of a true redistricting reform bill, as noted by our analysis.

  • Based upon a recent estimate of congressional seat changes following the 2020 census, North Carolina is estimated to gain one congressional seat.

Actions

In 2020, support candidates who will advocate for fair districting.

  • Alternatively, run for legislature yourself.

  • Because the Governor cannot veto redistricting plans, flipping a chamber to create divided government is the only way to create a structural roadblock to gerrymandering absent reform legislation or legal action.

In 2021, use public input to push the Legislature towards fair districts and to identify communities.

  • Obtain North Carolina redistricting data from OpenPrecincts.

  • Use software tools such as Dave's Redistricting App and Districtr to draw district maps showing either (a) what a fair map would look like, or (b) where the community you believe should be better represented is located.

Contacts

Princeton Gerrymandering Project Data provided by the Princeton Gerrymandering Project

State Info

Congressional Boundaries: Drawn by legislature
State Boundaries: Drawn by legislature
Legislative Control: Republican
Governor's Political Party: Democratic
Last Updated: Feb 12 2020