The Southern Coalition for Social Justice represented several statewide nonpartisan groups seeking to overturn racially packed voting districts in North Carolina through a series of cases known as Dickson v. Rucho and NAACP v. NC. On July 8, 2013, a three-judge panel in North Carolina state court unanimously rejected all challenges to the 2011 redistricting plans for Congress, State House and State Senate. You can read the full Court Decision here. Press coverage is available below as well.
One of the organizations that SCSJ represented was the League of Women Voters. Below is their statement on the case
Court Upholds Deeply Flawed Redistricting Plan
League of Women Voters Vows to Continue the Fight
Raleigh, NC—On July 8, 2013, a three-judge panel in North Carolina state court unanimously rejected a challenge to the 2011 redistricting plans for Congress, State House and State Senate. The League of Women Voters of North Carolina (LWVNC), a plaintiff in the case, issued the following statement following the ruling:
“The League has said from day one that this hyper-partisan redistricting map was intentionally designed to further legislators’ partisan goals at the expense of voters. We also pointed to specific tactics utilized to limit the influence of minority voters,” said League of Women Voters of North Carolina president Jo Nicholas. “Despite the clear evidence that the Legislature’s plan harmed voters in 2012, the Court unfortunately decided to uphold it.”
“We are down, but we’re not out. Along with our co-plaintiffs and concerned voters across the state, we vow to continue exploring every possible opportunity to stand up and protect voters from harm,” concluded Nicholas.
During the course of the trial, LWVNC and co-plaintiffs offered clear evidence that the state’s 2011 redistricting plan directly contributed to voter confusion and unconstitutionally segregated voters by race on Election Day 2012. Post-election analysis conducted by the nonpartisan Southern Coalition for Social Justice showed that the 2011 redistricting plan placed one in four North Carolina voters into “split precincts”, leading to widespread confusion about who would be on one’s ballot come Election Day 2012. What’s more, these districts placed a difficult burden on hardworking elections officials, who often struggled to assign voters living in split precincts to the correct districts. Across the state, hundreds of voters assigned to the wrong district received the wrong ballot on Election Day. Those living in minority communities were particularly hard-hit.
“Our elections deserve to be free, fair, and accessible for all. The League will continue to fight for fair redistricting and work with voters to stand up against the voter suppression tactics that continue to threaten nearly half a million eligible voters in our state,” concluded Nicholas.