Last month, we hoped that the NC court system might deliver some relief for our democracy from the scourge of gerrymandering. On Tuesday, September 3, a three-judge North Carolina panel ruled that state House and Senate district maps are unlawful under the state constitution. Those maps, drawn in 2017, replaced 2011 maps which were also ruled unlawful.
Got that? For the past 8 years – and 4 election cycles – We the North Carolina voters have been subjected to the underhanded whims of a General Assembly that has demonstrated over and again that democracy stands not a chance in this state.
This ruling requires the General Assembly to draw new maps – under close court surveillance – by September 18. If they fail to do so, or fail to draw equitable maps, the court will appoint a referee who will.
The bottom line is that in 2020, more than 6 million North Carolina voters will cast ballots under fair, constitutional maps for the first time in a decade!
Heartwarming news to be sure … but don’t go to sleep. While the maps will be changed for 2020, GerryMander and his gerrymandering remain. Case in point is the September 10 U.S. Congress special election (NC9) won by the candidate representing the political party with the “safe seat.” Not an ounce of democracy there!
So in spite of the anticipated fair maps in 2020, gerrymandering – rigging elections by political parties – remains the “law of the land” in North Carolina – unless we pressure this legislature into replacing gerrymandering with a citizen-led redistricting process. If you value your besieged democracy, stand up and speak out – now! The next opportunity doesn’t come around until 2029!
The most crucial weapon available is your voice and persistence. If you care about the survival of our imperiled democracy, please call and email these 4 individuals: Senator Phil Berger (919-733-5708; Phil.Berger@ncleg.net); Senator Ralph Hise (919-733-3460; Ralph.Hise@ncleg.net); Representative Tim Moore (919-733-3451; Tim.Moore@ncleg.net); and Representative David Lewis (919-715-3015; David.Lewis@ncleg.net)
Demand a permanent end to to election rigging. This is our state and our country! Not the private purview of political parties!