From SCSJ, as part of the Alliance for Fair Redistricting and Minority Voting Rights, attended the NC General Assembly’s first redistricting public hearing. Redistricting Organizer Jessica Holmes spoke out against diluting minority voting power.
SCSJ, as part of the Alliance for Fair Redistricting and Minority Voting Rights, attended the NC General Assembly’s first redistricting public hearing. Redistricting Organizer Jessica Holmes spoke out against diluting minority voting power.
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By Heather Moore
RALEIGH – North Carolina lawmakers are working to redraw legislative and congressional district lines, which historically has been a very political process. It happens every 10 years after census numbers are released.
Wednesday, the public got their first chance to tell lawmakers what they expect of the redistricting process and the new lines. Redrawing district lines impacts how many lawmakers represent an area and exactly which area they’re representing.
In the past, it could even play a role in who would win the election by creating districts of like-minded voters, a political tactic called gerrymandering.
“My concerns are that minorities will be packed into certain districts under several gerrymandering techniques that have been used in the past,” said Jessica Holmes with the Alliance for Fair Redistricting and Minority Voting Rights.
But state lawmakers say they’re taking extra steps this year to make the redistricting process as fair and open as possible.
“The gerrymandering as it’s been in the past has pretty much been eliminated by the fact the courts have responded, especially the North Carolina Supreme Court,” explained Senator Bob Rucho, a Republican representing Mecklenburg County and Chairman of the Redistricting Committee. “There are certain times we’re going to have districts that may be spread out but there’s a reason for it legally, whether they follow the Voting Rights Act or whether they follow whole county or whatever it may be, but legally there’s a reason for that occurring.”
Lawmakers are holding at least twelve public hearings all across the state to get input about the redistricting process.
Concerned citizens say they appreciate the opportunity to participate.
“I’m very excited they have spread these public hearings across the state,” Holmes said. “I’m happy about this process. I’m happy about this opportunity to come here and give my public input.”
Source: News 14 Carolina